NBC host Megyn Kelly on Thursday said former President Barack Obama’s administration went “too far back” in seeking to protect college students claiming they were sexually assaulted, “completely eroding” the due process rights of the accused.
Kelly made the remark on her show Megyn Kelly Today a day after The New York Times reported that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is crafting new policies on how colleges deal with sexual harassment and assault cases that would boost protections for those accused.
“I’ve been covering this closely for years, for years, and I understand the argument on the one side that we were in a position, back when I went to school, back in my day, when the pendulum was completely against the woman, right?” said Kelly, who is a victim of sexual misconduct.
“And so there was a problem that needed solving,” Kelly continued. “But I would submit that the Obama administration overcorrected the problem and swung the pendulum too far back against the accused, completely eroding their due process rights.”
The new rules would narrow the definition of sexual harassment to only hold campuses accountable for complaints filed formally to officials and that occurred on school grounds, according to The Times. They would lower liability for colleges.
In a statement to NBC News, the Department of Education said it was “in the midst of a deliberative process” and that the reported rules were “premature and speculative.”
Kelly went on to give as an example a student she knew from Colorado State University-Pueblo, named Grant Neal.
“Great football player, aspiring orthopedic surgeon, had a 3.7 GPA. He had a sexual relationship with a woman,” Kelly said. “She asked if he was using protection. He said no. For a couple of seconds there, it went on. They resolved the problem. They had a great night. They had another great night a couple nights later. All was great.”
However, the woman told her roommate about the incident, Kelly said.
“The roommate said those five seconds were a rape,” Kelly said. “The girl said, ‘I haven’t been raped. Grant is not a rapist.’”
The university found Neal guilty and suspended him, barring him from returning until the alleged victim graduated.
“His career was ruined,” Kelly said. “His college campus experience was ruined, his football—all of it, done. How is that fair?”
Kelly said that men and women are entitled to due process.
“You can’t swing the pendulum so far against the accused that it’s a slam dunk for the accusers because while most women, I believe, are telling the truth, there’s a faction that are not,” she said. “And the men accused by them—you could reverse the rules in some cases—those accused by the liars need to be protected, too.”