The Santa Barbara Superior Court reversed the ruling in a UC Santa Barbara Title IX case on Oct. 9, stating UCSB’s hearing for the accused was “noticeably absent [of] even a semblance of due process.”
The case, John Doe v. University of California Regents, focuses on two students referred to as Jane Roe and John Doe in court documents.
Doe was officially suspended from UCSB in 2016 after Roe accused him of sexually assaulting her on June 26, 2015.
UCSB placed Doe on interim suspension beginning Sept. 16, 2015, while the school investigated Roe’s claim. He was officially suspended for eight quarters following a hearing from the Sexual/Interpersonal Violence Conduct Committee.
Two weeks ago, the SB Superior Court court found that Doe:
- was denied access to critical evidence – a copy of a report that described Roe’s alleged injuries following the assault – during the hearing;
- was denied the opportunity to “adequately cross-examine witnesses,” including Roe herself and Doe’s mother, among others;
- and was denied the opportunity to present evidence, such as information regarding Roe’s antidepressant medication, in his defense.
“It is ironic that an institution of higher learning, where American history and government are taught, should stray so far from the principles that underlie our democracy,” court documents read.
Doe will be rewarded some form of compensation, according to court documents.
This is the second reversal of a UCSB Title IX case the Nexus has reported on in recent months.
Roe said Doe sexually assaulted her that night at Doe’s girlfriend’s apartment. Doe’s girlfriend is referred to in court documents as Eyewitness One.
Roe had consumed wine, beer and mango margaritas that night and said she had felt “pretty drunk” and decided to sleep on the bottom bunk of a bunk bed in the apartment’s living room.
She stated she woke at an unknown time, “completely disoriented,” to an “intense, throbbing pain.”
Roe said she pretended to be asleep because she did not want a confrontation while her assaulter allegedly “unhooked [her] bra”; “suck[ed] and bit” her for several minutes; “[took] photos of her naked breasts” and repeatedly “penetrated [her] vagina and anus” with his fingers and/or penis.
She said she realized it was Doe when her assaulter stopped and got up from the bed, according to court documents.
Roe was medically examined by the Santa Barbara County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) two days after the alleged assault.
The SART report said there was “bruising and laceration noted in the anal area,” according to University of California Police Department (UCPD) Detective Dawn Arviso.
However, neither Roe nor the detective provided a full copy of the SART report with this information attached during the trial.
“The SART report was critical evidence,” court documents state. “At a minimum UCSB should have required the detective to provide a complete copy of the SART report.”
Roe’s story that night also conflicted with Eyewitness One’s report.
Following the alleged assault, Roe said Eyewitness One approached the bed and screamed when she saw that Roe’s “bottom half” was completely bare.
Eyewitness One testified over Skype that Roe was wearing a short-sleeve shirt and underwear when she got up from the bed, contradicting Roe’s claim. She also denied screaming.
The mattress was also absent of “any visible signs or smells of bodily fluids” consistent with anal or vaginal penetration, according to Eyewitness One.
Doe denied all of Roe’s accusations.
He said he arrived at the apartment at approximately 12:30 a.m. that night and was “very intoxicated.”
By Eyewitness One’s recommendation, he lay down, fully dressed, on the bottom bunk next to Roe because the top bunk was covered in luggage. He reportedly first heard about Doe’s allegations when she “woke [him] up by basically yelling about someone hurting her.”
He argued three main points in his defense:
- The distance between the couch and the bunk bed in the living room was too close for him to have done anything without being noticed by Eyewitness One and Eyewitness Two.
- He could not have unhooked Roe’s bra because his neurological disorder, a “form of palsy,” affects his motor skills when he is tired or drunk.
- Roe’s antidepressant medication, Viibryd, has side effects including hallucinations, sleep paralysis and night terrors, which can become severe when mixed with alcohol.
Doe was not allowed to include the antidepressant medication evidence in his defense because he did not have an expert present, according to court documents.
The SB Superior Court stated he was not given enough time to find an expert, again showing a lack of due process.
The full court documents can be viewed here.
The denial of access to the SART report was caused by **SANTA BARBARA COUNTY**…. they refused to provide it because they were in the midst of an ongoing investigation. Nonetheless, John Doe complains that the UCSB process was not prompt… the absence promptness was due to **SANTA BARBARA COUNTY** not completing their investigation. So, what actually happened… a sworn law enforcement officer testified as to the contents of the report, prior to the resolution of the County’s investigation, because John Doe pressed for a prompt hearing. His legal team knew at the time that the SART report could not yet… Read more »
This is fascinating, I’ve listened to the audio of the Court of Appeals oral argument. You’re wrong, the SART report has never been provided to the legal team and this prompt hearing you speak of took place more than a year after the alleged event. In any event the University chose to introduce the two lines of this report with everything else redacted. It was even redacted before the Court of Appeals and the judge who had fifty years of legal experience was appalled. Listen to the hearing which is available online
Uh… Santa Barbara County’s decision not to prosecute John Doe was not made public until April 17, 2017. Page 15 of the appeals report. That is the principal delay in this entire case. After that point, the County provided the SART report. The County’s inquiry and its slow process is the reason the SART report was unavailable. But John Doe wanted a prompt hearing. The judge was clueless and simply had animus for UCSB, and overlooked the fact that it was SB County who caused the delay in SART report, and that John Doe wanted a prompt decision. Given that… Read more »
All wrong and uninformed. UCSB only changed their standard to preponderance of the evidence during the Obama Administration “Dear Colleagues” letter period. It was Sandra Vasquez at UCSB Judicial Affairs who denied many accused their constitutional civil rights and now has had several of her cases she ushered through overturned. She has been cited in courts for her violations of civil rights in handling Title IX cases and lost her job heading up UCSB Judicial Affairs. This poor John Doe was just one of her many victims.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong – the delay was caused by UCSB. They had 60 days to complete the inquiry and are NOT allowed to wait for or interfere with law enforcement per Title IX procedures. The investigator took more than 80 days to release the report after her last bit of evidence was discovered. Doe apparently does not now, nor ever, had the SART report. The investigator did not even use the complete sentence from the SART report, but merely seven words of a phrase from it. It could have said anything, including that there was no evidence of lacerations… Read more »
The John Doe legal team knows that the sworn officer merely read from the report and did not lie or proffer an opinion that was a lie. This isn’t in question but the process of not allowing John Doe to have legal representation and due process is being questioned. It sounds to me like the evidence was selected by the administration to paint a guilty verdict and not one that lacks an unbiased approach to the facts.
John Doe absolutely was allowed to have his attorney present at the hearing and also was allowed unlimited access to that attorney. However, the attorney is not allowed to speak for John Doe. John Doe has to confer with his attorney and then speak for himself. This has been the arrangement at UCSB and predecessors for over one century.
Yes and the University had an attorney there talking during the hearing, speaking for the University and raising legal objections and he was not allowed to have his attorney answer for him. The Court said that lacked due process
He was allowed to stop, confer with his attorney, and say whatever his attorney advised him to say. UCSB proceedings are simply not a court of law. They are a proceeding where the student is asked to step up and take responsibility. It has been that way for over 100 years, and John Doe knew that and agreed to it when he accepted the offer to enroll at UCSB.
Your article contains an error. The Santa Barbara Superior Court (the trial court) found in favor of the University. Doe appealed that decision. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the Superior Court in the opinion you are quoting from.
Why would they have a bunk bed in the living room? Odd.
Because IV slum lords charge unreasonable prices for their rat traps and you have to get as many roommates as you can!!
John’s girlfriend and another guy were sitting less than three feet away yet failed to notice that Jane was naked and exposed in bed while he took pictures of her? Common side effects of Viibryd are “easy bruising,, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin, hallucinations?!” C’mon people, the witness testimony alone should have ended this.
That is why there is a committee that hears the testimony **LIVE**. They can assess the veracity of the testifiers much better than you can (unless you were there too). As for Viibryd, a fishing expedition through the accuser’s personal medical records has never been part of the UCSB process. If you or someone else want that to be part of the UCSB process, write your State Legislature and lobby for $100 million+ extra funding/year for UC judicial affairs. As it is the office has taken millions of $ from **EDUCATION** to pay for hearings involving very drunk students like… Read more »
None of what you said makes sense Actual IV, it doesn’t cost money to understand the effects of Viibryd and the point was they didn’t tell him until the night before the hearing and then didn’t allow anyone to testify about it and didn’t allow him to ask her questions about it. That’s fundamentally unfair.
Certainly it makes more sense to rely on full *LIVE* testimony, not culled and biased written testimony reported by John Doe’s legal team. But I guess you think it makes sense to rely on culled and biased written testimony, culled by John Doe’s legal team. As to Viibryd, hmm… John Doe got drunk out of his gourd, got in bed with Jane (without her consent)… which is more likely, that he blacked out (he admits he was drunk) and assaulted her, or, that she had a Viibryd hallucination? Did John Doe present his entire health records and life experience to… Read more »
Read the court of appeals decision, you’re absolutely wrong
I have read it. My statements are absolutely consistent with it. “John Doe returned home also intoxicated and wanted to lie down”. He lay down on the same mattress as Jane Doe. His intoxication is, by any reasonable measure, a more probable cause for him not recalling accurately what happened next. Detective Dawn Arviso (a sworn officer) replied by e-mail that Jane Doe suffered “bruising and laceration noted in the anal area”. “The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department requested that the Title IX office place its investigation on hold” “John (Doe) objected to the continuance”. At the hearing (Aug. 16,… Read more »
The sworn officer did not write the report, did have have access to even the full sentence of the bruising claim. I know from personal experience that bruising and lacerations in that area are caused by straining against constipation caused by medication. Hallucination is the more common explanation considering that even Roe admits she was under the covers and he on top of the covers. She answered Doe’s questions about whether she had hallucinations by saying that was private information. She could have just said “no – I never experienced that”. Witnesses both stripped the bed and smelled the sheets… Read more »