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Support for a College Student Grows After a Rape Complaint Is Dismissed

oldmom4896oldmom4896 3895 replies290 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
Administrators at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in central New York are pressed for changes over how a campus panel handled a freshman’s complaint.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/22/nyregion/support-for-a-student-grows-as-college-examines-its-sexual-assault-policies.html
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Replies to: Support for a College Student Grows After a Rape Complaint Is Dismissed

  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16630 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The Ontario County district attorney, R. Michael Tantillo, closed the case without testing whether that seminal fluid matched the DNA of any of the accused.

    Sounds like more of a problem with the DAs office IMO.
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  • katniss1katniss1 33 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Absolutely chilling. Shameful that those thugs go free and that the case was handled so poorly. I'm passing this story to my DD - and emphasizing the need to remember the buddy system - no freshman girl should be alone at a frat party.
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  • movemetoomovemetoo 724 replies11 threadsRegistered User Member
    It amazes me that schools are still attempting to handle these things in house. Criminal acts should be dealt with by law enforcement. Period.
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  • saintfansaintfan 8182 replies92 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It does sound like a problem with the DA's office. However, one of the main arguments put forth in the last extensive campus rape thread was that if the DA's office did not pursue a case then no rape occurred. Aside from not being raped in the first place, what is a girl to do if available evidence isn't tested and investigations are not appropriately carried out?
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  • laurapb23laurapb23 84 replies3 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    There were 54 colleges under investigation for situations like Hobart. The list is available from the Department of Education. It does not mean they all violated them, simply that they were investigating the complaints.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34139 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    Criminal acts are handled by the legal system. The colleges' responsibilities are viewed through a different lens. I always suggest folks read the relevant parts of Title IX, to see what is expected of the colleges. Even if the DA declines to take an investigation further, the college still has responsibilities. But also, too often, a problem determining exact circumstances. Is that right? No. is it easy to adjudicate these matters, on a campus? No.
    edited July 2014
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16630 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    A college that makes a mistake one way or the other is going to pay millions and millions and millions in restitution to whomever was harmed - that's been going on since Duke "days" six or seven years ago with payments either to accusers or to falsely accused and there are many law suits already occuring about what a college/uni did or didn't do. The colleges are "damned" if they do (support one side or the other) and "damned" if they don't (support one side or the other). Personally I'm not keen on supporting colleges and universities, bloating administration even further and would rather my hard earned dollars be put to bear on the criminal justice system - but I'm pretty much on the books already about those feelings.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78242 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    But also, too often, a problem determining exact circumstances. Is that right? No. is it easy to adjudicate these matters, on a campus? No.
    The colleges are "damned" if they do (support one side or the other) and "damned" if they don't (support one side or the other).

    Police and courts, whose job it is to figure these things out, probably come up with a lot of "incorrect" verdicts in these cases. Can't imagine a university administration doing this as a side job being any more "accurate".
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16630 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    ^^Compounded by the pressure of mob mentality and an age when it is "OK" for media to have bias and do less fact checking. It's difficult for me to pass judgement on anything because there is no guarantee that what I'm hearing isn't filtered. I wonder "what" the mobs think HWS should have done differently - especially since "we" the masses have nothing more to go on than what the NYTs has chosen to share or what people have gleaned from public reports by the police and the DAs office.

    http://www.13wham.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/da-new-york-times-got-wrong-14024.shtml?wap=0

    Many sides to these stories.....
    edited July 2014
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  • HuntHunt 26787 replies131 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In the criminal justice system, it often happens that a person who actually committed a serious crime isn't convicted, or even charged, because there is not enough admissible evidence to convict him. This is not a flaw in the system; it's a feature, designed to protect the innocent.

    The way to get more convictions is to improve methods of collecting evidence.
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  • AuntJuliaAuntJulia 93 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Why is "Anna" going back to school there? She seems troubled and I can't see any therapist recommending she go back. And as a parent, that school would never see another dime of mine.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34139 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 2014
    Yes, the media has a perspective, not always fully informing us. You find a lot of people with emotions based on one media report they (or frequently, someone else) heard about, with it's interpretation. Title IX and the "Dear Colleague" letters don't dictate "verdicts." They lay out the steps a college must take to explore and protect. On one side, you can get people who say, "The college should have convicted him/them." That's the job of the legal system. On the other, people say, "Whoa, based on she said?

    Right or wrong, NYT says, "In the local interviews, the district attorney blamed Anna’s family for the failure to test the DNA because they initially chose to adjudicate her rape complaint through the school, rather than the criminal justice system." I'd want to know more.

    I do like the idea for colleges to have in reserve, an "external and objective third party consultant."
    edited July 2014
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16630 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And as a parent, that school would never see another dime of mine.

    Again who knows the truth, but from reports it "sounds" like her parents knew she didn't want to press charges and it sounds like the college also counseled her to press charges but the young woman did not want to. What would you have the college do differently? Clearly you think they are derelict in their duties....
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22875 replies184 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Um, it has been clearly stated several times that Anna early on spoke to a school administrator who DISCOURAGED her from filing criminal charges, and led her to believe that the college procedures would be faster and less harrowing.

    Faster, they definitely were, since they ignored the vital evidence entirely.
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  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys 16630 replies66 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Ah, there you go, I think I one of the links where the college said they encouraged her to report - who knows what the truth is.

    And oh my.. another million + being paid in lawsuits - imagine how far that million would go toward more effective police and prosecutors in the college community instead of dripping through the fingers of college trustees.
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  • poetgrlpoetgrl 13231 replies103 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes. Exactly. As in so many of these cases, the college discouraged reporting to the police. Not, of course, that the DA was particularly helpful. The usual rigarmarole. "It's he said she said." No, it's DNA evidence you didn't bother to check. Yeesh.
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  • mathyonemathyone 4193 replies34 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    " no freshman girl should be alone at a frat party". I'm wondering why anyone would want to attend a party they don't feel they would be safe at in the first place.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34139 replies378 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In another recent thread (what was the college?,) nearly identical words: school administrator who DISCOURAGED her from filing criminal charges, and led her to believe that the college procedures would be faster and less harrowing.

    Then we heard that was misinterpretation, that what the college had suggested was the victim immediately begin working with the school's rape counseling center (however it was titled) for support and advice.

    Do we KNOW the college actively discouraged her, considering the provisions of Title IX which are in contrast?
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