Friday, June 14, 2013

College Serial Rapists Evade Antiquated Campus Responses

Carly Mee, a student at Occidental College (78100MF), was hanging out with friends in late 2010 when a male student’s name came up. Mee was standing near Leah Capranica, a fellow sophomore, who said she’d had a bad experience with the student. The two women met the next day and told each other a secret: They had been sexually assaulted by the same man. 

Occidental College Student Carly Mee   

The women filed complaints with the college, and after investigations, the male student was found responsible for Mee’s attack, according to college documents, and admitted assaulting Capranica, she and university professors said. Occidental expelled him. A few months ago, Mee received word that the man would be allowed back to school the next academic year, after writing a report about a book on sexual assault. 

“The verdict wasn’t changed,” she said. “The punishment was changed. I asked why and no one could tell me.” 

Across the country, colleges are under fire for using antiquated and amateurish procedures to prevent and investigate rapes and other sexual assaults on campus. Chronically slow, botched and biased responses -- in some cases relying on students as investigators -- have prompted anger from rape victims and scrutiny from the U.S. Education Department

Student Carly Mee wears a blue ribbon painted on her face to raise awareness of sexual assault. Mee said she’s unlikely to return to Occidental after graduation because her assailant will be back on campus. 

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