Yale should not readmit accused rapist Saifullah Khan

It happened at a Halloween party at Yale University in 2015. It was the first time she ever got drunk. She lost her friends and wound up with Saifullah Khan, a fellow student and acquaintance. He took her back to her dorm room where she threw up multiple times. She woke up the next day naked with bruises on her legs. Used condoms were on the floor. Khan was next to her in bed.

The young woman immediately reported the incident to Yale's sexual harassment and assault resource center, which in turn called the police. Khan was suspended from Yale and local law enforcement charged him with sexual assault. Unlike most campus sexual assault cases, this one was actually tried in court. It seemed like the system was finally working. Until Kahn was found not guilty.

The young woman had never consented to sex with Saifullah Khan. In fact, she was so intoxicated that she was physically unable to consent. But that didn't matter to the attorney who defended Khan during the trial. According to him, because she flirted with Khan in the days leading up to the assault and wore a cat suit instead of a Cinderella ball gown to the Halloween party, she obviously wanted to have sex with Kahn.

The trial was every sexual assault survivor's worst nightmare. Instead of putting the alleged rapist on trial, the defense attorney blamed the victim. He convinced the jury that she was a drunken floozy who was asking for it, and that is why her account of the rape couldn't be believed beyond a shadow of a doubt. That is why Khan was found 'not guilty.' And that is why the defense attorney is now calling for Khan to be readmitted to Yale.

But under President Obama's Title IX guidance to universities, a "preponderance of evidence" is all that is needed to determine responsibility for a campus sexual assault. This means that if there is convincing or probable evidence that a sexual assault happened, a university should punish the attacker accordingly.

Unfortunately, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos overturned Obama's decision, once again making it easier for sexual predators to get away with rape on campus. Now it is up to individual universities and colleges to decide how they want to respond to campus sexual assault.

Sign this petition to demand that Yale University continue to follow the guidelines laid out by the Obama administration, and continue to uphold Saifullah Khan's suspension.

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