DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado lawmakers are focusing on a bill that would set a standard for colleges across the state regarding sexual misconduct and the investigations that follow.
Supporters say the bill clears up years on inconsistent standards. Those oppose to it feel it simply legislates a process they see as unfair.
Kendall Fowler was six weeks into her freshman year at the University of Denver when one of her friends changed her life.
“On Halloween he invited me over to his room, and I thought I was understanding we were just friends, but he ended up raping me that night,” she said.
It was months before Fowler reported what happened. But a Title 9 investigation was launched and led to her attacker being expelled.
She’s now speaking in support of the bill that would set minimum requirements for all Colorado colleges in sexual misconduct investigations; one requirement would be setting a standard of proof for investigating.
Opponents say that is just one of the many flaws with the bill.
“If you are accused of sexual misconduct in a criminal case, the prosecutor has to prove you guilty, and they have to prove you beyond a reasonable doubt and that’s the way it should be because we want to protect innocent people,” said Dan Recht, a criminal defense attorney.
He says the bill, right now, does nothing to address what he sees as an unfair process.
“People in judicial proceedings and disciplinary proceedings, it’s as American as apple pie, should have due process so that we protect wrongfully accused people… that’s all we are saying,” he said.