02.18.11

ND : We’re Not A Finishing School For Rapists

Posted in Lower Education, The Law at 10:07 am by

(both of these men would like to remind you that Gerry Faust never caught any rapists, either)

Following a widely circulated report last autumn that a St. Mary’s undergraduate committed suicide shortly after accusing a member of the Notre Dame football squad of sexual assault — a charge her family contends was not pursued with much zeal by the schoolthe Department Of Education is said to be monitoring the situation after a second accusation of institutional negligence surfaced yesterday. From the Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair and Todd Lighty ;

The family of a woman who attended nearby St. Mary’s College says campus police delayed fully investigating her account that a Notre Dame student sexually assaulted her after she had been drinking.

The woman says she felt that police were more interested in protecting Notre Dame than in helping her. Her father, a Notre Dame graduate, corresponded with the university president and visited campus police to plead for investigative action.

The other St. Mary’s student filed a report of an alleged sexual assault on Sept. 5. Police did not speak with the suspect in that case until 11 days later. Authorities said the woman initially did not want to press charges — a claim she says is false and her father considers a poor excuse.

“It’s not like a crime where someone steals $10 from you. It’s not a petty offense,” said the woman’s father. “It’s a serious criminal allegation, and it needs to be investigated.”

As in the Elizabeth Seeberg case, St. Joseph County, Ind., Prosecutor Michael Dvorak said he will not file criminal charges. It would be difficult to convince a jury that the woman was too intoxicated to give consent, he said. Dvorak said his conclusion would be the same regardless of when campus police conducted interviews and gathered evidence.

“We regret that some are critical of our handling of sexual misconduct allegations, and we understand the pain these families are experiencing,” read a Notre Dame statement. . “At the same time, we stand behind the thoroughness, integrity and objectivity of our investigations, as well as the comprehensive services available to students who are subjected to sexual misconduct.”

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