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George Morris on the SS list

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    Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

    This is consistent with what I was trying to say. The accused does not get to state his case before an independent adjudicator until the appeal. I agree that SafeSport has an incentive to investigate fully and know whatever exculpatory evidence is out there, since they have the burden of proof to establish the violations occurred at appeal.

    If it is doing its job, SafeSport will attempt to look at evidence for and against, but that is not the same thing as being an impartial, independent entity.
    Presenting evidence, witnesses etc to refute the claims during the investigation IS stating one’s case. Neither side presents their case in front of an independent adjudicator so I fail to see how that is unfair to the accused.

    Comment


      Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

      So you’ve already decided and the rest of us are not allowed to discuss it?
      I didn’t decide anything. It was a given reason by the arbitrator. I’m not an arbitrator.

      Comment


        Originally posted by mountainbells View Post
        From the Lopez article:

        “But in its ruling to reinstate Jean Lopez Monday, the three-member arbitration panel said their was insufficient evidence to uphold the ban without testimony of the three survivors of his alleged abuse at the Dec. 27 hearing and because Safe Sport officials did not provide the panel with sworn deposition transcripts or affidavits supporting the women’s allegations, according to a confidential Safe Sport document, obtained by the Southern California News group, which outlined the ruling.”

        However,

        “Safe Sport officials said Allard and other attorneys for the survivors turned down an offer to sign affidavits the center proposed offering as evidence in arbitration hearing. Statements made by the three survivors, Kay Poe, Mandy Meloon and Heidi Gilbert, during Safe Sport’s initial investigation of Lopez were entered as evidence for the hearing, according the arbitration ruling document.” (quoted from the article)

        So, did SS fail to provide testimony they already had from the investigation? Did the attorney’s for the survivors really decline to help provide evidence via signed affidavits? Not talking about live testimony at the arbitration here, but submitted written documents, which perhaps could have changed the final decision.

        Seems like a big mess that allowed the Lopez bros to get off the hook.

        Am I missing something right in front of my eyes?
        YankeeDuchess

        Comment


          Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
          I feel like this thread has gone on so long that we now have new people showing up and rehashing all the same stuff that was discussed ad nauseam earlier. Which is, I guess, inevitable when you have long-running discussions.

          So we're over 2900 posts in and I still haven't heard any solid suggestions for "improving" SafeSport beyond the oft repeated demands to adopt the procedures of the criminal/civil justice system, which is a useless suggestion because SafeSport was explicitly created to operate outside the bounds of that system.

          And now I've repeated myself for the umpteenth time, so I guess I need to be done with this discussion.
          I humbly admit that I fail to understand this post, as it seems to suggest that discussing changes to one or two aspects of the SafeSport procedures is tantamount to turning SafeSport into the criminal justice system.

          I humbly submit that, in my view, it should be acceptable to discuss the relative merits of altering the SafeSport procedures in a few specific ways to improve its functioning but still leaving SafeSport “outside” the criminal justice system, as it is now.
          Last edited by YankeeDuchess; Aug. 27, 2019, 09:34 PM.

          Comment


            Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

            The down playing of a lifetime ban is to illustrate that Safe Sport does not award punitive damages to the victims, they do not sentence the accused to jail or require them to register as a sex offender. So compared to that, yes it’s just getting kicked out of the club.

            Also, until someone can cough up a name of someone who is destitute over a ban, worrying about a hypothetical no name trainer is wasted energy. Also, people are probably more willing to speak up against hypothetical no name trainer than they are the BNT. Hypothetical no name trainer is more likely to get jail time than the BNT. See Randall Cates (never went to trial because the abused wouldn’t cooperate but police investigated) and Jim Gorgio who is now the SS overhaul groups mascot/slash token child molester.
            As I said, I’m not concerned for the people on the banned list. If the charges against someone, big name or not, are credible enough and severe enough to result in a lifetime ban, the loss of their livelihood is deserved.

            But downplaying the severity of the ban undermines the other arguments in defense of the SafeSport process ... that nobody gets banned without a very thorough investigation, that bans won’t be based on anonymous complaints or a single unsubstantiated claim; that SafeSport doesn’t hand out bans willy-nilly just because someone touched a rider’s leg to correct their position without asking for permission.

            Saying, “well, they’re just kicked out of a club” and “they can still teach and train, just not at USEF shows” makes it seem as though the person saying it is ok with the possibility that some innocent people will be banned, because at least they aren’t in jail.

            A ban is a big deal, and as I understand it, it is only done for severe offenses after a very thorough investigation demonstrates that it is extremely unlikely the accused did not do what they were accused of doing. As it should be.

            Comment


              Sticky Situation No one can name a person who has been banned from the USEF/Safe Sport/or other horse association that is destitute because they lost their livelihood.

              Comment


                Where did I say anyone was destitute? By "losing their livelihood" I mean their ability to make a living as a riding instructor/horse trainer ... not that they can't get a job in some other industry and make ends meet.

                And again, my concern is not over the comfort of people who earn themselves a SafeSport ban. It's over the use of arguments that make it seem like a SafeSport ban is just an inconvenience that otherwise allows the banned individual to continue with business as usual.

                Comment


                  Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                  Where did I say anyone was destitute? By "losing their livelihood" I mean their ability to make a living as a riding instructor/horse trainer ... not that they can't get a job in some other industry and make ends meet.

                  And again, my concern is not over the comfort of people who earn themselves a SafeSport ban. It's over the use of arguments that make it seem like a SafeSport ban is just an inconvenience that otherwise allows the banned individual to continue with business as usual.
                  A lot of the people on the ban list are still riding and training.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                    Presenting evidence, witnesses etc to refute the claims during the investigation IS stating one’s case. Neither side presents their case in front of an independent adjudicator so I fail to see how that is unfair to the accused.
                    After an investigation run by SafeSport, in which SafeSport gathers evidence and interviews witnesses on both sides, SafeSport then issues its determination that they have found “credible allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor” BEFORE they are required to establish to an independent arbitrator by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation occurred.

                    You’re right that NEITHER side presents evidence before an independent arbitrator prior to the appeal. Prior to the appeal ONE of the two sides, SafeSport, makes a determination based on its assessment of its own investigation. Jeez.

                    I have no problem with this. But it still looks to me that the actual trial on the merits of the case, in which the prosecution, SafeSport, must meet its burden of proof with the independent, impartial adjudicator is the appeal, not the investigation.

                    If I fail to respond to your posts in the future, it will be because I have blocked your posts and don’t see them. I obviously don’t have the self-control to see them and not respond.

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                      After an investigation run by SafeSport, in which SafeSport gathers evidence and interviews witnesses on both sides, SafeSport then issues its determination that they have found “credible allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor” BEFORE they are required to establish to an independent arbitrator by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation occurred.

                      You’re right that NEITHER side presents evidence before an independent arbitrator prior to the appeal. Prior to the appeal ONE of the two sides, SafeSport, makes a determination based on its assessment of its own investigation. Jeez.

                      I have no problem with this. But it still looks to me that the actual trial on the merits of the case, in which the prosecution, SafeSport, must meet its burden of proof with the independent, impartial adjudicator is the appeal, not the investigation.

                      If I fail to respond to your posts in the future, it will be because I have blocked your posts and don’t see them. I obviously don’t have the self-control to see them and not respond.
                      So you want the case decided by arbitration not the investigation?

                      I am trying to have a discussion with you about what exactly you would like to change and how. You accuse people of not wanting to discuss but when we express our opinions about why we disagree or ask for clarification and specifics on what you want to change and the reasoning behind it you refuse.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                        After an investigation run by SafeSport, in which SafeSport gathers evidence and interviews witnesses on both sides, SafeSport then issues its determination that they have found “credible allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor” BEFORE they are required to establish to an independent arbitrator by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation occurred.

                        You’re right that NEITHER side presents evidence before an independent arbitrator prior to the appeal. Prior to the appeal ONE of the two sides, SafeSport, makes a determination based on its assessment of its own investigation. Jeez.

                        I have no problem with this. But it still looks to me that the actual trial on the merits of the case, in which the prosecution, SafeSport, must meet its burden of proof with the independent, impartial adjudicator is the appeal, not the investigation.

                        If I fail to respond to your posts in the future, it will be because I have blocked your posts and don’t see them. I obviously don’t have the self-control to see them and not respond.
                        True. The police investigate and they determine if there was a crime committed. Then they arrest someone. There is not an independent person that looks at it. In real life, people are arrested and thrown in jail and sometimes denied bail before they have had what you keep stating is a chance to present evidence in front of an independent person. Sometimes they commit suicide as they sit in jail waiting to tell their story to the "independent person". Why does SafeSport have to behave differently?
                        Last edited by Keep it Simple; Aug. 27, 2019, 01:33 PM.

                        Comment


                          Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                          And again, my concern is not over the comfort of people who earn themselves a SafeSport ban. It's over the use of arguments that make it seem like a SafeSport ban is just an inconvenience that otherwise allows the banned individual to continue with business as usual.
                          I believe that the argument that "Safe Sport does not award punitive damages to the victims, they do not sentence the accused to jail or require them to register as a sex offender" was offered as an explanation for why SafeSport did not operate, and does not need to operate, using the same rules and practices as the criminal justice system.

                          Getting banned by SafeSport is indeed a big deal. If it wasn't, people wouldn't have a meltdown over BNTs getting banned. But, it's an administrative action taken by an extra-judicial body, not a legal judgement made by a court. Thus the different policies and procedures of the process.
                          "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                          that's even remotely true."

                          Homer Simpson

                          Comment


                            Originally posted by Keep it Simple View Post

                            True. The police investigate and they determine is there was a crime. Then they arrest someone. There is not an independent person that looks at it. In real life, people are arrested and thrown in jail and sometimes denied bail before they have had what you keep stating is a chance to present evidence in front of an independent person. Sometimes they commit suicide as they sit in jail waiting to tell their story to the "independent person". Why does SafeSport have to behave differently?
                            Ugh. So now the legal system is an appropriate analogy?
                            EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                              If I fail to respond to your posts in the future, it will be because I have blocked your posts and don’t see them. I obviously don’t have the self-control to see them and not respond.
                              If you've figured out how to block someone, please share how you're doing it. As far as I know, since the last board upgrade, we have not been able to "ignore" other posters and there are a few people whose posts I would dearly love to not see.

                              "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                              that's even remotely true."

                              Homer Simpson

                              Comment


                                Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                                Where did I say anyone was destitute? By "losing their livelihood" I mean their ability to make a living as a riding instructor/horse trainer ... not that they can't get a job in some other industry and make ends meet.

                                And again, my concern is not over the comfort of people who earn themselves a SafeSport ban. It's over the use of arguments that make it seem like a SafeSport ban is just an inconvenience that otherwise allows the banned individual to continue with business as usual.
                                You are right, Sticky Situation. A SafeSport ban is not analogous to getting banned from a private club like your local bridge group. It's not even analogous to getting fired from a job, because if you get fired, there are thousands of other private employers to work for.

                                For a mid-level trainer to get banned by SafeSport effectively means they will not be able to have a successful career in the hunter/jumper world. I once analogized it to getting disbarred by my state bar association. Sure, you can do something else with horses like run trail rides... just like if I'm disbarred I could write for a legal journal or work as a paralegal... but it's not the same.

                                Denali and others can name a few trainers who got into trouble with USEF and still manage to attract clients and train hunters... but the difference is those people were already famous. It's not going to work that way for mid-level or up-and-coming trainers.

                                When we talk about how SafeSport works, we need to try to think of all the different situations... not just George Morris or some other BNT. We also need to be honest about the facts. It is not credible to suggest people will be banned and their careers will be just fine.

                                Comment


                                  Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                                  Actually it has with the Lopez case. Signed statements are a thing in any HR type investigation, which is what Safe Sport is. I highly doubt the arbitration process would have a higher bar for evidence than the investigation process to hand out a ban.

                                  Keep it Simple can you clarify this point?
                                  Signed affidavits and character statements are allowed in arbitration. If a person wants to submit 10, 20 ,30 ,40 however many sworn, signed statements to the arbitrator it is allowed. The arbitrator takes about a week or 2 to make their decision. All the evidence is reviewed. The Director's Decision is ONLY admitted if one side requests it; and it is not always SafeSport that requests that it be admitted.
                                  Obviously, the problem with witness statements (for either side) is there is no opportunity to cross examine, so if a therapist says you (the accused) present no harm to the public, there is no opportunity for SafeSport to question this person or discredit what they say. Therefore, to achieve the standard of "preponderance of the evidence" SafeSport's evidence needs to be stronger than the accused. This has been achieved by live witness testimony, and that witness' report standing up to cross-examination.

                                  Comment


                                    Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post
                                    Where did I say anyone was destitute? By "losing their livelihood" I mean their ability to make a living as a riding instructor/horse trainer ... not that they can't get a job in some other industry and make ends meet.

                                    And again, my concern is not over the comfort of people who earn themselves a SafeSport ban. It's over the use of arguments that make it seem like a SafeSport ban is just an inconvenience that otherwise allows the banned individual to continue with business as usual.
                                    They can still make their living as a riding instructor/horse trainer however it would need to be at the local level where the organization is not subject to Safe Sport. Depending on the organization they may be able to work as a camp counseler or as a therapeutic riding instructor. Or they can buy, train then sell horses.
                                    They can even stay in the industry but move into the retail end such as working at a tack store or owning one. Or on-line sales of tack items.

                                    They just can't work with USET members and at USET facilities/shows/clinics.




                                    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                    Comment


                                      Originally posted by Horsegirl's Mom View Post

                                      You are right, Sticky Situation. A SafeSport ban is not analogous to getting banned from a private club like your local bridge group. It's not even analogous to getting fired from a job, because if you get fired, there are thousands of other private employers to work for.

                                      For a mid-level trainer to get banned by SafeSport effectively means they will not be able to have a successful career in the hunter/jumper world. I once analogized it to getting disbarred by my state bar association. Sure, you can do something else with horses like run trail rides... just like if I'm disbarred I could write for a legal journal or work as a paralegal... but it's not the same.

                                      Denali and others can name a few trainers who got into trouble with USEF and still manage to attract clients and train hunters... but the difference is those people were already famous. It's not going to work that way for mid-level or up-and-coming trainers.

                                      When we talk about how SafeSport works, we need to try to think of all the different situations... not just George Morris or some other BNT. We also need to be honest about the facts. It is not credible to suggest people will be banned and their careers will be just fine.
                                      Tom Navarro who was previously discussed in this thread has not ever been a BNT. Even without the ban he would never be a BNT. He still has the same career.

                                      Comment


                                        Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                                        So you want the case decided by arbitration not the investigation?

                                        I am trying to have a discussion with you about what exactly you would like to change and how. You accuse people of not wanting to discuss but when we express our opinions about why we disagree or ask for clarification and specifics on what you want to change and the reasoning behind it you refuse.
                                        I am fine with the process as it is now. I think GM is guilty as hell. I thought a bunch of people, including you, were out of line for denigrating an honest and thoughtful post by HLMom by saying “we’ve already covered all this” and acting superior because she used the term “alleged victim” instead of victim in a context in which “alleged victim” was perfectly appropriate.

                                        In this most recent exchange, I was just trying to explain the basis for my belief that the respondent’s primary opportunity to defend against the charge is in the appeal, not the investigation. Do you disagree just to disagree? Your rejoinder that, well, “neither side appears before arbitration, so that’s fair” was inane. No, no arbitration, one side makes the determination based on its assessment of its own investigation. You have made similar inane, flip rejoinders. “Just tell an innocent man accused of rape, that he shouldn’t have been standing around with a tight T shirt”, then “explain” that the “point” was to demonstrate the inanity of saying rape victims are at fault for being raped, as if you thought there was a single person on the board that had failed to understand that point for 30 years.

                                        Many of your posts consist of you flatly stating your opinion, with no useful information backing it up, and usually based on a misinterpretation of the post you are responding to.

                                        Are you the one who called me a “raving moron”, or did you just endorse the person who did and giggle about it?

                                        I’m not offended btw. Your calling me a raving moron says a lot more about you that it does about me. Hence why I will block you if I can figure out how.


                                        Comment


                                          Originally posted by YankeeDuchess View Post

                                          I am fine with the process as it is now. I think GM is guilty as hell. I thought a bunch of people, including you, were out of line for denigrating an honest and thoughtful post by HLMom by saying “we’ve already covered all this” and acting superior because she used the term “alleged victim” instead of victim in a context in which “alleged victim” was perfectly appropriate.

                                          In this most recent exchange, I was just trying to explain the basis for my belief that the respondent’s primary opportunity to defend against the charge is in the appeal, not the investigation. Do you disagree just to disagree? Your rejoinder that, well, “neither side appears before arbitration, so that’s fair” was inane. No, no arbitration, one side makes the determination based on its assessment of its own investigation. You have made similar inane, flip rejoinders. “Just tell an innocent man accused of rape, that he shouldn’t have been standing around with a tight T shirt”, then “explain” that the “point” was to demonstrate the inanity of saying rape victims are at fault for being raped, as if you thought there was a single person on the board that had failed to understand that point for 30 years.

                                          Many of your posts consist of you flatly stating your opinion, with no useful information backing it up, and usually based on a misinterpretation of the post you are responding to.

                                          Are you the one who called me a “raving moron”, or did you just endorse the person who did and giggle about it?

                                          I’m not offended btw. Your calling me a raving moron says a lot more about you that it does about me. Hence why I will block you if I can figure out how.

                                          Your crusade started because of a disagreement over word choice and people questioning it? Yowza. No I never said you were a “raving moron.” The poster who made that statement didn’t name anyone specifically nor did she quote anyone so I’m not sure why you thought it was directed at you.

                                          My endorsing was a joke because I think it’s lame to criticize typos when we all make them as a come back.

                                          ETA: HL Mom asked the same questions in the very long Rob Gage thread that she did in this thread. How many times does she want a response?

                                          Comment

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