Mark.Scarberry at pepperdine.edu
Mon Feb 9 15:47:12 PST 2004
A Google search turns up this site.
<http://www.technews.vt.edu/Archives/2000/Feb/00043.html> . Apparently in
2000 (or late 1999) Ms. Brzonkala settled a Title IX discrimination suit
against Virginia Tech for $75,000.
Here are excerpts from a story reported by the Student Press Law Center in
the Fall of 1996. It describes dismissal of the Title IX suit; apparently
the dismissal later was reversed, leading to the $75,000 settlement noted
above. (The full copyrighted SPLC story is at
<http://www.splc.org/report_detail.asp?id=34&edition=16> &edition=16..) Note
that the SPLC reports that in April 1996 a grand jury refused to return a
criminal indictment. I have no idea how reliable the SPLC may be.
Vol. XVII, No. 3 - Page 27
Va. student loses suit to limit campus courts
(c) 1996 Student Press Law Center
VIRGINIA -- A student whose case has potentially serious implications for
the opening of campus court proceedings suffered a defeat in state court in
May, when a district court judge ruled against her in a sexual
discrimination suit against her former school.
The judge ruled that Christy Brzonkala did not provide enough evidence to
show that Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia
Tech) discriminated against her because of her gender.
Brzonkala's attorney said she plans to appeal the decision. ...
After two lengthy hearings through the university judicial system, the
university lessened the punishment originally given to the football players
and allowed them to play football during the next season.
Brzonkala has suffered setbacks in each of her efforts to bring the two
players to justice. In April, a grand jury declined to indict them on
criminal charges, and in July a federal court judge dismissed her civil
suit. The civil suit was the first to be filed under the 1994 Violence
Against Women Act, which gives female victims of hate crimes, such as sexual
assault, the right to sue for damages in federal court. The judge ruled that
the law is unconstitutional. Wagner said she has filed an appeal to the
federal court decision with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
[end of excerpt]
Mark S. Scarberry
Pepperdine University School of Law
From: Douglas Laycock [mailto:DLaycock at mail.law.utexas.edu]
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 2:27 PM
To: RJLipkin at aol.com; RZietlo at utnet.utoledo.edu
Cc: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
Subject: Re: Morrison
These facts have to be of record some place, and someone should look
it up and report to the rest of us. But my recollection is that it was a
he-said, she-said kind of case, with some kind of sexual interaction but
real dispute about how far and with what degree of consent. I also dimly
remember that there were multiple players involved. She of course said the
University was white washing the case to protect its star athlete(s); he (or
they) of course said he was the victim of political correctness. The DA
said he didn't have enough evidence to get a conviction; her supporters said
the University had leaned on the DA. I don't vouch for any detail in this
account, but I'm pretty sure about the general impression of uncertainty,
conflicting accounts, and unresolved factual disputes. I doubt that anyone
will ever know what really happened.
At 05:18 PM 2/9/2004 -0500, RJLipkin at aol.com wrote:
Thanks to David Bernstein and Rebecca Zietlow for their posts. But
I'm perplexed. If such a case happened today, I can't imagine it not making
a national splash on the evening cable news shows and other media venues.
Does anyone know the complete story answering two central questions: (1) Was
an innocent man falsely charged of rape? Why? What were the circumstances
of the charge? or (2) Did Morrison brutalize Brzonkala, and was he supported
by an indifferent university and criminal system? Was the fact that he was
a varsity football player ever discussed (in the press, etc.) as relevant to
the university's decision?
Let me ask my question in a slightly different manner. Short of
scouring old newspaper articles about the case, what is the best research
strategy for answering the above questions? No hard work, please!
Robert Justin Lipkin
Professor of Law
Widener University School of Law
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