UVA asks police to investigate report of frat-house rape

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP/WAVY) — The University of Virginia’s president says she has asked Charlottesville police to investigate allegations that a female student was raped by several men at a fraternity house.

President Teresa A. Sullivan announced the investigation in a statement posted Wednesday evening on the university’s website. She says she issued it in response to a Rolling Stone article in which a student describes an assault by seven men in September 2012.

Sullivan says the article includes details that weren’t disclosed to university officials previously.

The article says UVa. administrators and students keep sexual assaults at the school quiet. Sullivan says the university takes sexual misconduct seriously.

Patricia Lampkin, the vice president and chief student affairs officer at the University of Virginia, has issued the following statement in response to the the article:

Dear Students:

Over the past two days, our community has been deeply affected by the article that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine earlier this week. I know that many of you are feeling shocked, dismayed, saddened and, perhaps, betrayed. Our community is hurting. We are concerned about Jackie and we are worried about other survivors who have lived through the horror of sexual assault. Many of us are confused by the contradictions between the UVA. portrayed in the article and the UVA that we know. Many of you are questioning your trust in our University. President Sullivan and I want to be absolutely clear: we do not tolerate sexual violence in any form. Sexual assault is a crime that can destroy lives and create profound suffering. It has no place in our society, much less in an academic community characterized by freedom and civility. To add to these overwhelming emotions, we learned late yesterday of the death of a second-year student, the details of which we will share according to his family’s wishes as soon as we are able. This painful set of circumstances comes on the heels of other recent tragedies on Grounds. The constellation of these events would be enough to put the strongest of communities into crisis. But know that we will cope, and together we will heal. We acknowledge how difficult it is for survivors of sexual assault to talk about their experiences and to feel confident in reporting them, whether to the police or to the University. We will continue, as we always have, to encourage survivors to go to the police, to pursue the University’s disciplinary process, and most of all, to take advantage of the many support services available at UVA and in the community.(Please see the end of this message for a list of resources.) This is a time for us to come together, not to be pulled apart. I hope that we as a community can address this issue in a spirit of deep compassion, concern, trust and resolution.

She also included the following resources on how to report instances of sexual assault and personal support:

Sexual Misconduct Reporting Website: http://www.virginia.edu/justreportit/sexualmisconduct/
Counseling and Psychological Services: http://www.virginia.edu/studenthealth/caps.html
Daytime Phone: 434.243.5150; After Hours Phone: 434.972.7004
Office of Dean of Students: 434.924.7133

Police were called to Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity house at the center of the Rolling Stone article, for the report of vandalism early Thursday morning.

The Charlottesville Police Department issued this press release about the vandalism:

Charlottesville Police responded to the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity located at 159 Madison Lane at 2:45 a.m. on 11/20/14 for a report of vandalism. Responding officers met with members of the fraternity and together they surveyed the damage.

A number of windows had been broken with bottles and chunks of cinder block and a portion of the building had been spray painted. Police officers collected evidence from the scene and the incident is under investigation.

Anyone having information related to this incident is encouraged to contact Sgt. David Harris of the Charlottesville Police Department at (434) 970-3970.

Governor McAuliffe issued the following statement:

I was deeply disturbed to read about the sexual assault allegations outlined in Rolling Stone magazine. Sexual violence is a nationwide problem, and it is critical that our schools acknowledge that this is a pervasive issue and take bold action to end it. Earlier today, I spoke to the university leadership and conveyed my deep concerns with what has been reported. We are in agreement that a full and fair investigation must be pursued, and I have called for a zero tolerance strategy to combat campus sexual assault. I have asked university officials to conduct a full review of all of their policies and procedures and if decided, to bring in outside experts to assist in this effort. We must also find ways that our local law enforcement and prosecution efforts can better align with university actions. Earlier this year, I signed Executive Order 25 establishing the Governor’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence, sending a message that Virginia will not tolerate sexual violence on our campuses or in our communities. Now is the time to act — we must ensure that survivors are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, and we must do more to hold perpetrators accountable. As the parents of five children, this is an issue Dorothy and I care deeply about.  I look forward to seeing strong recommendations from the task force that will help keep more Virginians safe and ensure that our students are free from the threat of sexual violence. 

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