Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Fliers with the names of four alleged rapists are being circulated at Columbia University

No one knows who is behind it, and this isn’t the first that students and administration at New York’s Columbia University have heard of the four alleged rapists listed on the flier. It started as graffiti on the walls of several bathroom stalls, and was easily painted over. Now, it has escalated to printed matter with the names of four male students, who may or may not be rapists.

The University responded to the negative publicity in a statement, ”To avoid chilling complainants from coming forward and to respect all parties involved, the university does not comment on the particulars of disciplinary proceedings regarding sexual misconduct. In addition, the university is mindful of the multiple federal laws that govern these matters and provide important protections to survivors of sexual violence and to students engaged in our investigative process. These laws and our constitutional values do not permit us to silence debate on the difficult issues being discussed.”

So, in the interests of public relations, the university seems to have hung everyone out to dry, not just possible rape victims seeking closure, but also those whose names have been publicly impugned. Police never seem to have been alerted.

It is not a wonder that last month 23 students at Columbia and Barnard filed a federal Title IX complaint alleging that the University mishandles sexual assault cases.

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