Thursday, November 14, 2013

ESPN Rampant With Sexual Assaults?

Related: Slow Saturday Special: Emerson $cores

"Emerson vows to improve sexual assault investigations" by Matt Rocheleau |  Globe Correspondent, October 10, 2013

Emerson College vowed to improve its investigation of sexual assaults after a group of students filed a complaint with the federal government alleging that the school downplayed and failed to fully investigate at least two recent incidents.

“We can and we will do better,” president M. Lee Pelton said in a campuswide e-mail Wednesday afternoon.


Emerson sophomore Sarah Tedesco, 19, and junior Jillian Doherty, two of the complainants who have spoken publicly.

Tedesco said hospital test results showed she had been drugged one night last October while at an off-campus MIT fraternity party in Cambridge and then raped by an MIT student, whom she had never met before.

Well, when you get to the bottom if it, it is a party school. Must be why it is so prominent in my paper.

She said she was also sexually assaulted by a fellow Emerson student, whom she knew well. Officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology declined to comment Wednesday, citing federal privacy laws.

Tedesco said she told Cambridge police, who began to investigate.

But she said their questioning became overwhelming, and she decided to seek help from school staff and administrators.

Tedesco said they encouraged her not to talk to police, and instead go through the school’s judicial process. But she said the school mishandled her case.

After several months, the case was closed because, she said, administrators said it did not warrant a hearing that would fully review the allegations.

Tedesco said before the school completed its investigation into the first incidents, she was sexually assaulted again by the same Emerson student who allegedly assaulted her in October. She said she reported the more recent case to campus administrators, who again allegedly downplayed her complaint.

Tedesco said both of her alleged assailants remain at their respective schools.

Neither person has faced any punishment, Tedesco said.

In an interview, Tedesco praised Emerson’s encouragement of a “culture of consent’’ among students — meaning that consent must be established by both individuals before engaging in any sexual activity. But, she said, “they aren’t going anywhere near actually investigating cases.”