Saturday, June 21, 2014

George Will Stands by His Incendiary Sexual Assault Comments

George Will Stands By His Incendiary Sexual Assault Comments

In the interview, Will refused to take back any of his comments. Instead, he repeated the thrust of his initial message, worrying about the damage that sexual assault allegations would have on college men: 

"A lot of young men and young women in this sea of hormones and're going to have charges of sexual assault. You're going to have young men disciplined, their lives often permanently and seriously blighted by this, don't get into medical school, don't get into law school, all the rest, and you're going to have litigation of tremendous expense."


He also said that, in his view, the definition of sexual assault has become dangerously broad.


"Remarks become sexual assault," he said. "Improper touching: bad, shouldn't be done, but it's not sexual assault."

The criminal law distinguishes between different types of conduct in defining and punishing sexual offenses.  For example, in Ohio, "sexual conduct" is intercourse, "sexual contact" is touching. There is difference in rape (forced intercourse), sexual battery (coerced intercourse), gross sexual imposition (touching under threat of force), sexual imposition (touching when victim impaired). And there is a difference in penalties from felony in the first degree to misdemeanor.

"Remarks" can be (but are not always) actionable as sexual harassment, under Title IX in educational settings, under Title VI in work settings, or as stalking or domestic violence if they include threats of harm.

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