We have been following the sad tale of a University of Michigan 2L and a U-M professor who got caught up in a prostitution scandal. Yesterday, the Michigan 2L responded to some of the comments that have been made about her.
Today, the professor involved asked ATL for equal time and an opportunity to tell his side of the story. In a letter entitled: “Have you considered whether she may be simply lying?” and sent to the entire law school, the professor says:
I wish to raise with you the claim that, for whatever reasons, your student is simply lying. Allegations must be substantiated with facts; here are the facts as they emerge from the police report (which, as I am sure many of you know, anyone is entitled to get from the police).
We reprint the letter in full after the jump.
And just to be clear, this will conclude our coverage of these events. Both parties have had an opportunity to say their piece, and we’d like to leave it at that.
YARON ELIAV — OPEN LETTER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LAW SCHOOL
Have you considered whether she may be simply lying?
Dear members of the law school community,
The letter that the student of your school recently wrote to you was brought to my attention. I do not wish to go into discussion with her in this forum. There are other, more appropriate channels for that. But since she referred in this letter to me with a string of serious allegation, and since I know that many of you are well trained in verifying the truth and hold in high esteem both honesty and justice, I wish to raise with you the claim that, for whatever reasons, your student is simply lying. Allegations must be substantiated with facts; here are the facts as they emerge from the police report (which, as I am sure many of you know, anyone is entitled to get from the police).
1. She claims that the morning after our meeting, when she went to the police, she had “vision problems”; interestingly enough, she did not mention these vision problems to neither of the police officers that interviewed her. In the first officer’s report it says: “C. stated that her face was swollen from being slapped”; that’s it! If she had vision problems, why not mention them? Was it even swollen? Right after, the police report says the following “This officer was not able to detect any swellings or discoloration on C.’s face.” Mind you, this is less than 24 after the incident. If she would have claimed problems with vision during that interview, police procedures would have required to send her to a doctor to evaluate the damage. Nothing of that was done. Only a month later, in an interview she had on the 5-21-08 she finally “remembered” that “her vision was not clear after the assault.”
2. In her letter, C. claims that during our meeting she feared for her life. And that she thinks she was lucky that she made it through it alive. Interestingly enough, here too, no where in any of the interviews that she had with the police has she ever mentioned these claims. She also never mentions anywhere in her interviews with the police that I threatened her life in any way.
3. Which brings me to the assault claim – she says that I assaulted her by slapping her face twice and by whipping her. This seems like a serious allegation – what kind of a man would do something like that?!! But what C. fails to provide for you is the context in which these things were done. Here is what the police report and the evidence the police collected say:
A. “C. stated (that) Eliav asked about her playing a submissive role in the encounter.” This is how she described my initial email inquiry with her, which shows she understood this to be a “(role) play type of encounter.”
B. In reply to this inquiry. C. wrote to me the following email (it’s somewhat explicit, so my apologies; but as people who are training to be lawyers, I think you can handle it): “Hi, You sound just like the kind of man I prefer … The Don’ts– I don’t do anything with blood, piss, scat. I don’t do back-door. You may not perform oral on me. I use condoms for both oral and vag sex. The Do’s– kissing, using my hands and mouth, sex. My interests are pretty diverse. I’ve given/gotten spankings. I dig role-play. I like to try new positions… the crazier, the better. I’m playful. My pet interest is BDSM… I do dom and sub, but deep down I’m a true sub… I love nipple torture: having my breasts squeezed and bitten, wearing my nipple-clamps. I’m not much into degradation or humiliation, or intense pain.” Now you future and current lawyers tell me if she has given a broad enough spectrum to experiment in “role play.” The context for our encounter was of two consenting adults that are coming to experiment with role play, which C. is enthusiastically embracing (and much of which, BTW, was never part of our encounter).
C. Another point to keep in mind – throughout her statement to the police, I counted 5 or 6 times were C. admits that various things were initiated during the encounter and that she told me not to do it “and he would stop”; or alternatively that I asked her about something and that although originally she didn’t plan to include this, but that “she agreed”; or “after more discussion, she compiled with his request.” and note: these are her words to the investigators! Here is what the report says about the whipping, “C. initially did not want to be whipped but had done similar things in the past and agreed to be whipped.” So all in all, what emerged here is a CONVERSATION! In which things were talked about, discussed and time and again C. herself in her statement to the police admits that nothing was forced on her.
D. Which brings we to the notorious two slaps on the face. They too were part of this “role play”; here is what the detective reports about his conversation with C. about the slapping: “I (=the detective) asked C. if she said anything after she had been struck on the first occasion and she stated that she did not say anything.” And I (Eliav) ask – why didn’t she say anything? Her statement shows that every time that something was not to her liking she said something (see above, section C.). And indeed after a while, when there was a second slap, C. says that she told me that if I slap her again, she will slap me back, and indeed, I immediately recognized that this is not to her liking and I stopped. This is according to her statement! All in all, the slaps were part of this role play experimental encounter, in which we tried to enact certain emotions and tie them with some actions. Just like a slap in the face in a movie in not an assault, here too there was no assault. To go back to a note from before – the second slap was very much toward the end of our encounter, and I hardly think that someone who is “afraid for her life” would speak like C. did (“if you slap me again, I’ll slap you back”)…
Other lies are not worth repeating. All in all, surprising as it may seem, I have nothing against C. She is apparently a troubled woman and I wish her just good and well. It was my lawyer (encouraged by me) who convinced the Ann Arbor news, because of her suicidal nature, not to include her name in the piece – although, as many readers have noted, there was no legal prevention from doing so, as she was charged with the same computer charge as I was! (and to be sure, the Ann Arbor news was considering to publish her name and her picture, as reflected by their request from the police for her photograph).
Don’t get me wrong – I am not proud of this encounter; not at all. It was a stupid mistake of bad judgment that hurt my self, my family, my colleagues, and the university I dearly love. I take full responsibility for that and will handle its consequences, perhaps for the rest of my life. But don’t let C. fool you to believe that whatever happened there was non-consensual. She would do better to her self to stop spreading lies in order to redeem her actions. Take responsibility and begin healing. Lies will bring you no where.
Earlier: Michigan 2L Responds