Indiana University rape expert on leave, accused of sexual assault

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INDIANA — Indiana University is handing over more than a dozen sexual misconduct cases to a retired professor, who will provide a second opinion amid an administrator’s suspension.

In early February, the school placed Associate Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Director Jason Casares on paid administrative leave.

Officials began their investigation after a board member with the Association for Student Conduct Administration, Jill Creighton, wrote a letter dated February 3rd to members of the group. The letter surfaced online ahead of an annual ASCA conference in Florida.

After learning Casares would attend the ASCA conference, Creighton, who identifies herself as ASCA’s president-elect, released her open letter on Twitter.

Creighton alleges Casares, who formerly served as the group’s president-elect, took advantage of her after she had too much to drink at a convention in Texas in December. In the letter, Creighton states she filed a criminal complaint with Texas authorities.

Creighton goes on to say she felt unsafe with ASCA, stating the group failed to protect her even after Casares resigned from the board of directors. The woman wrote the group, which trains and offers guidance for college officials dealing with student misconduct, including sexual assault, allowed Casares to attend the conference.

Creighton’s letter reads in part:

I also could not stand the hypocrisy of Jason parading his expertise on Title IX, knowing how he had behaved with me. While I knew it could blow up in my face, and that I had nothing to gain but my own sense of safety, I asked ASCA to impeach Jason.

When Jason resigned, I was shocked to learn that he was still planning to attend the conference, and was still planning to present his sessions on Title IX, though several of his co-presenters have backed out of co-presenting with him. He is under criminal investigation for a sex offense, and ASCA is still allowing him to present. I needed a safe space, and to be able to attend this conference free of the hostile environment that his presence creates for me. ASCA has failed to protect me.

Casares was hired at Indiana University in 2011.

Read Creighton’s open letter in its entirety here.

Casares serves on a three-member panel that rules on sexual misconduct cases at IU, leading the school to reconsider cases that involved him.

Retired law professor and Title IX expert Julia Lamber has been tapped to look into 18 cases, all decided this academic school year. Lamber will not re-investigate the cases or do any interviews. Instead, she will be given case files and recordings of the panels to determine if they were fairly decided.

“These allegations against him just came to light or happened in December, so we thought it was prudent just to go back to the beginning of this academic year … to make sure that we were being thorough,” Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Mark Land said.

Lamber will receive the files this week. There is no timeline for her investigation.

Land said the school hopes this will restore faith in the system.

“We still want people to come forward and be part of the process. We hope that people won’t lose faith in the process because it is a very robust one and one that we’re very committed to,” Land said.

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