Gary Mason in today's Globe & Mail:
After Galloway: Schools have no place in sexual-assault investigations
Last week, an arbitrator awarded the University of British Columbia’s former creative-writing chair, Steven Galloway, $167,000 in damages stemming from his shocking dismissal from the school in 2016. If ever there was a win that felt like a loss, this would be it.
Mr. Galloway was fired after it was revealed that he’d had a two-year affair with a woman in his program. But it was worse – the woman alleged that the once-celebrated author sexually assaulted her before they commenced their dalliance. These allegations, among others less serious leveled by some of his students, incited an investigation by the university that was magnificently bungled. This is largely why Mr. Galloway got the award amount he did.
...There were three central allegations made by the main complainant; that on two occasions Mr. Galloway sexually assaulted her and on another raped her, possibly after being drugged. There was a raft of other complaints from a handful of mostly female students that included everything from inappropriate comments and jokes of a sexual nature to creating a sexualized environment during a weekly social gathering he held with students in a bar.
The university hired a former B.C. Supreme Court justice, Mary Ellen Boyd, to look into it all. While on the bench, Ms. Boyd was one of the most respected jurists in the province.
She effectively dismissed all of the allegations leveled against Mr. Galloway except one: he hadn’t revealed to his superiors that he was in a relationship with a student in his program.
...There are many things postsecondary institutions in this country can learn from Mr. Galloway’s saga and one has to be this: It’s not a university’s job to investigate allegations as serious as rape. Sexual assault is a serious crime in Canada. Police have the mandate to investigate them, not educational institutions.
...Universities can’t be ...launching sexual-assault probes on campus every week. Having a retired judge rule that someone’s allegations of sexual assault don’t add up shouldn’t be the final word about something as grave a crime as rape. But it can’t be the first word either.
...Mr. Galloway’s story will be remembered as a debacle of extraordinary dimensions. No one is happy about the final outcome.
Strangely enough, the single thing I suggested should cause trouble for Galloway (outside of the criminal acts, of course), the affair with a student under his tutelage, would have been okay if he had notified his superiours the affair was going on.
However, we don't have to speculate any more about sexual assault or sexual misconduct. There wasn't any. Note also the complainant suggested she was assaulted before she began her affair with Galloway. Similar to the case of Jian Gomeshi, wherein the complainants accused him of beatings during sex, but then for some reason not only wanted to continue the affair, but went to the trouble of sending provocative pictures to him. I have to admit, I would be willing to have some woman explain that to me.
Just another couple of points. It may be splitting hairs to differentiate between the Crown and the prosecution. But lurking in that definition is another more important point. That is, crimes are not commited against the individual, they are committed against the state (Crown). Which is why judges are sometimes pretty hard on women who have come forward with a complaint, then refused to testify. By refusing to testify they legally become an accessory.
Referring to star chambers is hardly hysterical. One of the defining features of such legal proceedings was that the accused could not face their accuser(s). The demand for anonymity (for the accuser) is certainly one of the features of the current proceedings. Criminals, even heinous criminals, have protections built into the law. There's a reason for those protections, put in place over several hundred years of jurisprudence. The people who put those protections in place were not criminals, they were people who knew what happened when those protections weren't there.