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Man Accused Of Dismembering Girlfriend Was Posterboy For Betsy DeVos' War On #MeToo
Shades of Ted Bundy.
As Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos made it a priority to undo the advances made by the Obama administration in terms of requiring colleges to take campus sexual assault seriously — on the grounds that women are lying liars who lie about rape and sexual harassment all the time for no good reason. Or something to that effect.
One of the young men she cited as a victim of colleges taking sexual assault and harassment too seriously was Joseph Roberts, who in 2013 was immediately suspended from Savannah State University after being accused of verbal and online sexual harassment by two female students. Roberts took his story to DeVos, who used it to further her agenda, despite the fact that there was no evidence that he had, in fact, been falsely accused.
From The New York Times, at the time:
Among the accused students who told their stories to Ms. DeVos on Thursday was Joseph Roberts, who said he was three weeks from graduating from Savannah State University in Georgia in 2013 when he received an email from the university accusing him of sexual harassment. He was “summarily suspended,” he said in an interview, “pending the outcome of a hearing that never happened.”
Mr. Roberts, who enrolled in college after serving in the Navy and is now 36, said he was “deemed a threat to the campus community” and was not allowed to return. He was allowed to graduate by taking classes online. He sued the school in federal court, but the case was dismissed. A spokeswoman for the university declined to comment on the case, but said the university was “committed to providing a safe campus environment” and ensuring students’ due process.
Mr. Roberts has been working in Washington with a group called FACE (Families Advocating for Campus Equality), but he said many lawmakers have not listened to him.
“This was the first time that I felt like a decision maker, like a government official listened and was sincere and she was patient and she cared,” he said.
Aw. The poor dear.
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Roberts, an ardent Trump supporter, would go on to be active in Republican politics, and was elected to the San Francisco Republican Party County Central Committee in 2020. He started attending law school, where he joined the Federalist Society (because of course).
And earlier this month, Roberts was arrested on suspicion of having murdered and dismembered his girlfriend, fellow law student Rachel Imani Buckner, after his DNA was found on the tape used to wrap her body parts in plastic garbage bags. The garbage bags were found on the shore of California's Alameda County, suggesting that he may have watched one too many episodes of Dexter.
Now, we technically should not speculate. Although this whole law student, local GOP committee, allegedly beheading a woman story is familiar enough to make me think police just might want to see if anyone has been hanging around supermarket parking lots in an arm sling and trying to get college students to help him put his bags in the trunk of his VW Beetle. This isn’t technically proof that it was he, and not the women who accused him of sexual harassment, who was a lying liar, but that kind of behavior is often a precursor to intimate partner violence.
Also the harassment was partly online, so it seems pretty likely the school did see some actual evidence of his behavior — and that they may very well have saved those girls from something a whole lot worse.