WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 23, 2015): A very thorough police investigation has found no evidence whatsoever to support the allegations of rape at the University of Virginia as sensationally reported in Rolling Stone magazine which provided such a boost to efforts to reduce rapes at colleges and universities.

This Rolling Stone debacle, coupled with the recent memory of phony allegations of rape at Duke University,  and a Justice Department study showing that widely cited estimates of the rate of rapes and other sexual assaults on college campuses has been grossly exaggerated, may blunt so-far successful efforts by the federal government and anti-rape groups to force colleges to not only crack down but to also convict more male students, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

University of Virginia

Rather than the very widely cited statistic that 1 in 5 female students are victims, the study shows that the rate of rape and sexual assault among college women is about 1 in 160; even lower than the rate among non-college women of the same age of about 1 in 140.  These rates are also on the decline, says Banzhaf, suggesting that these figures may further knock the wind out of efforts to win support for a major crackdown, and more findings of guilty.

University Of Virginia: Epidemic of college rapes

“These new authoritative figures may help eliminate what some have called the hysteria about an alleged epidemic of college rapes which has led to many male students being wrongfully found guilty as the federal government and campus anti-rape organizations have pressed for more and more convictions,” suggests Banzhaf, who first reported how almost two dozen males have had to sue their universities, college administrators, and accusers to obtain justice.

As 28 male and female Harvard law professors reported, even Harvard’s procedures “lack the most basic elements of fairness and due process, [and] are overwhelmingly stacked against the accused.”

Perhaps that’s one reason why almost two dozen courts have ruled in favor of the males, and many more similar law suits are pending, says Banzhaf.

Another effect of the University Of Virginia finding may be to make it more difficult for women claiming to have been raped to be believed.

“After a while, the boy who cried wolf wasn’t believed, and women who cry rape may likewise not be believed, especially with the completely discredited accusations of rape at Duke University and at the University of Virginia still fresh in people’s minds,” says Banzhaf.

Yes, rapes, on campus or off, are very serious and must be fought.

But it doesn’t help when the number of incidents are greatly exaggerated, parents are made very fearful of sending their daughters to major universities like Duke and UVA, and males are found guilty to satisfy the government’s pressures for more convictions without much regard for Due Process procedures to protect the innocent, says Banzhaf.

JOHN F. BANZHAF III, B.S.E.E., J.D., Sc.D.
Professor of Public Interest Law
George Washington University Law School,
FAMRI Dr. William Cahan Distinguished Professor,
Fellow, World Technology Network,
Founder, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052, USA
(202) 994-7229 // (703) 527-8418
http://banzhaf.net/ @profbanzhaf