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IU Administrator Placed On Paid Leave Following Accusations Of Sexual Assault
Updated February 5, 2016 8:36 AM | Filed under: Education
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Jason Casares, Indiana University associate dean of students and deputy Title IX director, has been placed on paid administrative leave following accusations of sexual assault at an Association for Student Conduct Administration.

Mark Land, spokesperson for Indiana University, says university officials found out about the allegations Wednesday night.

"IU is investigating and while officials are looking into the allegations," Land added.

Casares was hired in 2011 as the associate dean of students and director of student ethics. Before coming to IU he served as an assistant dean of students at the University of Arizona.

When Jill Creighton, assistant director of global community standards at New York University, learned Casares would be allowed to attend an ASCA conference this week in St. Petersburg, Florida, she posted an open letter Wednesday on Twitter.

In her letter, Creighton who was the former ASCA president-elect, took advantage of her after she had too much to drink at a convention in Forth Worth, Texas, in December. She filed a criminal complaint with police in Texas. She then filed a formal complaint to the ASCA on Dec. 10, 2015.

The ASCA board of directors hired the law firm Hutcheson Bowers LLLP to look into Creighton's claims. In a statement in response to Creighton's open letter the ASCA wrote: "Following a rigorous investigation Hutcheson Bowers determined that Ms. Creighton's claims could not be substantiated." and the complaint was resolved in an executive session.

Casares resigned from that position on Jan. 29, 2016 after being given that option during an impeachment hearing, but remains an ASCA member.

In a statement, Tony Paganelli, Casares' attorney says his client "categorically denies the false accusations of sexual misconduct ."

The following is Jill Creighton's open letter to members of the Association for Student Conduct Administration and other ASCA conference attendees.

To the Members of the Association for Student Conduct Administration and other attendees:

It has been announced to you that former President-Elect Jason Casares resigned his position. Some of you will conclude that he did so for medical reasons. I wish to set the record straight, though I have no idea if his health indeed played a part in that decision. Jason was given the chance to resign by the Association amidst impeachment proceedings, and he opted to do so. I know this because I initiated those proceedings.

I have been instructed by the Association to maintain confidentiality of the impeachment proceedings, and I will do so, since I was not informed of their outcome. I can only presume that Jason was informed that he faced impeachment if he did not resign, and that he then chose to do so. I don't know this for sure, because I can't disclose what I don't know. What I will not maintain confidentiality about is my own story, and what happened to me. I will not remain silent, either, about the ways that our Association has failed to live up to the ideals for which I hoped - and I know that you expect - it would embody.

At the AFA convention in Fort Worth, TX in December, I made the mistake of letting my guard down while socializing with Jason about Association business. Jason took advantage of me after I had had too much to drink. I filed a criminal complaint with the police in Texas, and then decided that I felt unsafe in ASCA. 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.

I asked for his sessions to be canceled, and the Association refused. This is not something the Association can afford to be ambivalent about. We cannot claim national leadership in addressing sexual misconduct, only to fail miserably in our first test within our own Association. In the process to resolve the impeachment, Jason had all the rights, and I was placed on involuntary suspension. I was repeatedly told that this isn't a Title IX matter, and while I understand that, I am speaking my truth to make sure that our Association takes a hard look in the mirror before it claims national leadership on sexual misconduct. I don't want to hurt the Association by speaking out, I want to strengthen it, cause us introspection that this can happen even within our own profession, and challenge us to walk our talk not just on our campuses, but in all phases of our professional engagement.

For those of you who will doubt me, or be swayed by Jason's implausible stories to explain himself, I did not consent to sexual contact with Jason. A verified, contemporaneous text message to this effect was submitted by me as evidence during the impeachment process. Now, I am risking my career, my role as a future President of ASCA, my professional and personal reputation, and the respect of my peers by putting this out there, knowing you will judge me for it.

I wish it had not come to this, but ASCA has not had my back, every step of the way, and it may take action against me for writing this. So may Jason. But, truth is truth. Right is right. My true friends are my true friends. My story is my own, and I hope you use it to demand that ASCA live up to its ideals. I have a right to participate here. You elected me, and I want to be able to give my service to this Association without experiencing a hostile environment throughout the rest of my term and for as many years as I continue to be an active and dedicated member. If you see me during the conference, don't avoid me. I may be upset, I may look defeated, I may even be crying, but I need your strength and support. I am here. I am not leaving. I can be both a survivor and your President-Elect. I declined to take on the role of president right away, though the bylaws permitted it, as I still need time to heal, and to become more seasoned as a leader. I have taken a leave of absence from my role on the board and will remain on leave until I am ready to resume my duties. You will have my service as you have elected me to give, but there is no reason why Jason should be able to continue in this Association or this field in any way. I'll be making that abundantly clear to the Board in the coming days, and I hope you will, too.

Sincerely,
Jill L. Creighton, Elected for President-Elect, ASCA 2016-2017 jcreighton2016@gmail.com

ASCA Statement On Casares

Dear members and colleagues,

This letter is to inform you that on December 10, 2015 the Association for Student Conduct Administration received a formal complaint from Jill Creighton regarding alleged misconduct that she reported occurred between her and Jason Casares. ASCA treats all reports of misconduct seriously and therefore conducted a thorough investigation in accordance with state laws and ASCA governing documents.

To ensure a fair and unbiased investigation for both parties, the ASCA Board of Directors hired an independent investigator from the law firm of Hutcheson Bowers LLLP to conduct an investigation and present findings to the board. The investigator was selected for their experience in investigating allegations of misconduct of non-profit board members as well as experience investigating the nature of the allegations in the received complaint. Following a rigorous investigation, Hutcheson Bowers determined that Ms. Creighton's claims could not be substantiated. In accordance with ASCA bylaws, the complaint was resolved in Executive Session.

While Mr. Casares resigned as President-Elect on January 29, 2016, he remains a member of ASCA and maintains the same rights as other members to attend and present at ASCA events. ASCA is working to accommodate the needs of both Ms. Creighton and Mr. Casares during this difficult time, taking into account safety and privacy precautions.

When Board members take office, each of us is required to sign agreements ensuring that we will maintain confidentiality and that we will fulfill our duties which include exhibiting care and loyalty to the Association in our decisions. We remain committed to these principles as individuals and as a collective Board, and we will continue to make decisions that we believe are in the best interest of the Association and its members.

The complaint resolution process has come to a close for the Association and we are focused on the future and moving forward. We hope that all of our 1,025 conference attendees have a fulfilling conference experience and we look forward to providing an update to all of our members regarding the accomplishments from the past year and the priorities for the upcoming year. We appreciate the on-going support of the membership as we continue our progress towards accomplishing the objectives outlined in the long-term strategic plan.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to direct them to President Bennett or Jennifer Waller, Executive Director.

Sincerely,
The Board of Directors Association for Student Conduct Administration



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