I have represented, successfully, students at Universities in the greater D.C. area who have been charged in internal campus disciplinary proceedings with sexual assault. In the cases I’ve handled, no prosecutor would take these cases – the evidence is simply not strong enough to support a conviction. Moreover, the complaining witnesses have an interest in not having anyone outside of the campus environment look into what happened.
The cases I’ve handled arise out of romantic relationships that are ending badly, or out of nights out drinking. There is no question that the couple had sex, the only issue is whether the sex was consensual.
What’s challenging about these cases is that schools are not obligated to provide the same rights to their students that people who are accused of a crime in a normal court have. Normally, the school writes a code of student conduct that defines how these procedures will work. Sometimes the school doesn’t follow its own procedures. This can seriously undermine a student’s ability to defend himself.