If you needed further evidence that the current movement surrounding sexual assault was an anti-due process witch hunt, look no further than a student group at the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA).
Women claiming to have been sexually assaulted held up signs with the names of the men they were accusing – seven names in total. None of the men had been convicted, yet their names were allowed to be publicly displayed. Some of the men had been investigated by the police or university and not punished, meaning there was likely insufficient evidence to find them responsible (or evidence they were innocent).
The women were part of a student group called Change Rape Culture, which, based on the name, suggests the group has bought in to the idea that sexual assault is an epidemic and the broad definition of what sexual assault entails.
The San Antonio Express-News, which reported on the event, did not identify the names of the men “because the accusations have not led to a criminal charge.” The media outlet spoke to one of the founders of the group, Kimiya Factor, who said Change Rape Culture investigated the claims against some of the men.
Friends of some of the accused students appeared at the event to defend them and take photos of the women for possible forthcoming lawsuits. One student, who knew three of the accused men, claimed the women were “just making false accusations.”
He said the men were “being accused by girls who have already had sexual interactions with them and because they didn’t want relationships and stuff, they’re just making false accusations.”
Another student, who supported the women, claimed the allegations were not merely “alleged,” and that some of the named men were known offenders of sexual assault or domestic violence. In other words, gossip.
Yet another student told the women he respected them but didn’t agree with this method, the Express-News reported.
“There’s no opportunity for these guys to defend themselves. If you’re a man right now in this society, especially a black man, coming out and saying, ‘I didn’t do it’ literally amounts to nothing. It means nothing,” he told the outlet. “If [the women] are wrong, there’s a hundred people out here and there’s about to be a hundred more people and counting that are going to see these names.”
UTSA President Taylor Eighmy sent a letter to students after the demonstration vowing “to thoroughly explore” the accusations. In another letter, Eighmy addressed concerns over publicly naming the students without charges being filed.
“All UTSA students have the right to exercise free speech according to the First Amendment and university policy. UTSA, as a state entity, may not intervene,” the president wrote.
Eighmy also claimed the accused students were “innocent until proven responsible, and they are entitled to due process.”
It seems difficult to believe the men would actually get a fair shake, considering some of them had already been investigated and were now facing renewed scrutiny because of public pressure and a fear of bad publicity.