Another Perspective on Campus Sexual Assaults

Another Perspective on Campus Sexual Assaults

May 15, 2014

Centennial, Colorado

In response to several conversations on Colorado Matters this week about sexual assaults on college campuses, a listener wrote in to emphasize that students accused of sexual violence by their fellow students can also be victims.

The White House is pressuring schools to better prevent and respond to sexual assaults, and on Tuesday, former prosecutor Anne Munch told Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner that she consults with universities to do that. Munch said some investigators on campus can have biases that make them skeptical of victims’ stories.

“We often see folks blame victims if they did certains things, wore certain clothes, if they were drinking. They have a tendency to focus on the victim’s behavior and not the offender’s behavior. And that’s just a cultural, societal bent,” Munch said.

Listener Iris Eytan, a defense attorney in Denver, says that’s not always the case. Eytan says she represents several young men accused of sexual assault. “The people that are doing these investigations, they believe that when a woman says she was sexually assaulted, that that’s all they need, is a statement from the young woman,” Eytan says.

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Iris Eytan is a Partner at Reilly Pozner LLP. She practices Criminal Defense with an emphasis in mental health defenses.