Contact: Christopher Perry
Sacred Heart Case Shows That Law Enforcement Involvement is Essential in Campus Sexual Assault Cases
WASHINGTON / March 7, 2017 – Bridgeport (CT) Police have arrested a woman from Sacred Heart University for filing a false police report alleging that she was sexually assaulted. This case is a prime example of why schools should cooperate with law enforcement to conduct thorough investigations in campus sexual assault cases.
The original report, made in October 2016, was made to Bridgeport Police (BPD) while the complainant was being treated at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. The woman alleged that two men sexually assaulted her in the bathroom during an off-campus football club house party. http://fox61.com/2017/02/23/police-woman-fears-losing-potential-lover-lies-about-rape-by-sacred-heart-football-players/
According to the police report, “BPD detectives conducted a thorough investigation and met several times with SHU administrators. Initial statements from witnesses and evidence recovered from the scene suggested that a sexual assault had occurred. As the investigation continued, the case detective received more information that contradicted the woman’s statements to police. This information included new witness accounts, text messages and cell phone video. The woman was confronted with this evidence, and admitted that she, in fact, did have consensual sex with both males.” http://www.bridgeportct.gov/highlights/?FeedID=2516
The investigation revealed that the complainant made up the allegation of sexual assault because she didn’t want to lose another male student as a friend and potential boyfriend if he found out that she had sex with the two accused males. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/02/23/college-student-accused-football-players-rape-now-charged-lying/
Comments made by the Director of Counseling at SHU downplayed the occurrence of false reports, stating that only “about 6%” of allegations are false. http://fox61.com/2017/02/23/police-woman-fears-losing-potential-lover-lies-about-rape-by-sacred-heart-football-players/. Unfortunately, this victim focused mindset exposes the current thinking of college administrators. It also shows the difficulty in receiving an impartial investigation and/or hearing at the campus level, when administrators believe that 94% of all allegations are true.
Sadly, we know that both campus assaults and false allegations can occur. Without respectful treatment of complainants, a thorough investigation, and a fair hearing process, the entire school community is shortchanged.
SAVE urges Connecticut legislators to pass legislation that will encourage state universities and colleges to collaborate with law enforcement to provide safety for the school community and justice-centered procedures that increase the reliability of the outcome. To that end, SAVE has developed model legislation that would ensure support services for students, confidential advisors, due process, and dispute resolution options. The SAVE bill is available at http://www.saveservices.org/sexual-assault/cefta/.
SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) is working for fair and effective solutions to campus sexual assault: www.saveservices.org