The article in "Reason" here describes a case of a straight student who was allegedly denied due process, despite university policy, after he politely refused advances of a gay student and the said gay student filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. The straight student was so distressed with the possibility of being found guilty that he committed suicide.
The family of the student who killed himself is now suing the school for, "among other things, violating his Title IX rights."
However, these are just civil penalties. It is alleged that the wrongful harassment finding was a result of a collusion between the gay student and one of the university's administrators.
My question is why isn't there any criminal investigation? It would seem that any institution which accepts large payments under the guise of following a certain policy and then does not follow the said policy is, at the very least, committing fraud. Isn't fraud a criminal matter? And since individuals alleged to be involved in this are in administrative positions, shouldn't the university's internal investigation be considered to be automatically tainted? Given these facts, shouldn't the police (the actual police rather than campus police) investigate this and possibly recommend criminal prosecution of anyone involved in such fraud? Especially since, in this case, it resulted in an avoidable loss of life?
My broader question is what other criminal charges can be leveled? If they are found guilty of fraud, could the felony murder rule apply? It seems like callous behavior which leads to a foreseeable death deserves a bigger punishment than just firing of the administrator. And if the only actions brought are civil, then the University would be the defendant and the actual individuals who were involved would not themselves even face any trial.
EDIT: after the answer and comments below, I think I should elaborate why I think a crime may have been committed if the alleged facts are true.
- There was an alleged conspiracy between an administrator and the false accuser. This means that the university policy was not followed not through an error or misjudgement, but rather through a deliberate and willful effort by the said administrator.
- While claiming to provide a process ensuring safe environment and fair treatment for all students of the university, and collecting payment for the purposes of providing such environment, it is alleged that the administrator willingly, willfully and deliberately assisted in harassment and engaged in encouraging of potentially violent behavior towards a student who was guilty of nothing but rejecting a sexual advance.
- The administrator benefited financially from the claims that the university provided a safe and fair environment for its students because of the salary drawn from the university. And specifically, from the fact that all students, even the ones who were victims of malicious targeting in retaliation for rejecting sexual advances, were paying clients of the university before and after such targeting occurred.
- While only one case of such targeting has come to light, it is conceivable that this is due to the fact that the case in question had the exacerbating factor of a student suicide. There may have been more cases of students becoming victims of targeting in retaliation for rejecting sexual advances, and that those students could have chosen to not draw attention to their plight because of asymmetry of power between them and the university.
Since, this is not a hypothetical, but an actual case, I should say that all the facts of the case are so far only alleged and, to my knowledge, not established. I have no material proof of any of them. And my interest in the case is purely for educational purposes.
EDIT 2: since so much of the discussion in the answers and comments has centered on whether fraud charges are justified, I want to re-emphasize that the broader question was whether any criminal charges can be brought if the alleged facts are true.
The only reason this case has gained national attention is because of the exacerbating factor of the victim committing suicide. But there maybe other victims, in similar situations, who are not protected by the criminal justice system if nothing of what is alleged to have transpired is deemed illegal.
This opens door to sexual coercion by any sexual predator willing and able to pay off (through a settlement) victims brave enough to challenge them in a civil action. It puts no one abusing the Title IX system in this manner in the jeopardy of criminal prosecution (in which paying off victims would not always be an option). There is a reason why we don't handle rapes (for example) in civil courts. Criminal justice system exists to make sure that, at least in theory, those who commit heinous acts cannot buy their way out of consequences of those actions.
So back to the main question, what, if any, criminal charges can be leveled against the administrator and the false accuser if the alleged facts of the case can be confirmed to be true?