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domenica 11 dicembre 2016

Stanford ignored complaints about serial sexual 'predator'

Stanford University ignored complaints about sexual assault, dismissed victims with disturbing allegations and failed to discipline a “known predator”, according to a federal lawsuit, allowing the student to violently attack multiple women
The complaint alleges that an unnamed male student strangled one victim and told her “no one will notice when you die” before raping her and that he repeatedly told another woman to “kill herself” after sexually assaulting her.
Despite having knowledge of the man’s attacks against multiple students – which occurred between 2010 and 2014 – Stanford officials did little to punish the perpetrator and protect other women, the lawsuit claimed. On the contrary, university officials discouraged victims from filing complaints, in one case questioning whether a victim’s clothing put her at risk for assault.
The shocking accusations paint a picture of a system that endangers students and come at a time of increased scrutiny of the sexual violenceharassment and discrimination that survivors’ advocates say are rampant on US college campuses.
Stanford spokeswoman Lisa Lapin declined to comment on the specifics of the case, citing privacy laws, but issued a lengthy statement defending the university’s record.
“We have sympathy for the plaintiff in this case, but we will be vigorously defending the lawsuit as we believe that Stanford has acted with appropriate diligence and compassion,” she wrote, adding: “Stanford’s top priority is always the well-being and safety of all of our students.”
The suit, filed this week by advocacy group Equal Rights Advocates, raises serious concerns about support for victims who speak up at Stanford, which received international attention this year surrounding the assault case of former university swimmer Brock Turner.
The complaint was filed on behalf of a current Stanford graduate student who began attending the prestigious university as an undergraduate in 2011 and is listed as Jane Doe in the court filings.
The perpetrator, known as Mr X in the lawsuit, repeatedly attacked a different female student, named as Ms A, in 2010 and 2011, according to the complaint. He physically assaulted her by “knocking her down, dragging her, and kicking her” and in one attack “began strangling her nearly to the point of unconsciousness, preventing her from screaming, breathing, or moving”, the suit said.
According to the complaint, after Mr X raped Ms A and “whispered into her ear” that no one would notice her death, she went to a counselor who was dismissive of the situation.
The counselor pointed out that the woman was “wearing a sweater that exposed part of one shoulder and asked her to consider whether she placed herself in potentially risky situations because she wanted to appear sexually available”, the lawyers wrote.
After disclosing the abuse to others at Stanford, one official “described the difficulty of proceeding with criminal or administrative action” while an academic adviser suggested she try and improve her mental health by “renting a car and going to a beach”, according to the suit.
Later, after a dean gave the woman the impression that pursuing a case would be difficult and provide minimal protections, the complaint said, she agreed to a “no-contact directive”, which Mr X later violated.
The suit alleges that Stanford’s failure to investigate and address Ms A’s complaints paved the way for Mr X to physically and sexually assault Jane Doe, who began casually dating him in 2013.
One time when Doe refused to have sex with Mr X, he forced himself upon her, called her a slut, told her to “kill herself” and pinned her arm behind her back, which injured her, the suit said. Administrators eventually told her they viewed her story as a “‘he said, she said’ situation” and that “Mr X’s actions toward her did not qualify as prohibited sexual behavior”.
Soon after, a third student formally reported that Mr X had thrown a table at her and punched her after she refused to have sex with him, the suit said. Stanford officials allegedly told that woman that the university wanted to resolve the complaints quickly “because Mr X might lose his job if he did not promptly receive his degrees”.
After the university determined Mr X had engaged in a “pattern of violent behavior when women refused his demands for sexual acts”, officials issued no-contact directives and banned him from campus for 10 years.
Still, Mr X graduated and was awarded two bachelor’s degrees while Doe was placed on academic probation after struggling to keep up with school work due to the stress and trauma of the assault and aftermath, according to the suit.
The allegations in this case are really disturbing and show the importance of promptly and thoroughly investigating,” said Michele Landis Dauber, a Stanford law professor who has been outspoken about the university’s handling of sexual assault. “The key here is that we have to hold perpetrators accountable, and if we don’t, we’re really endangering campus safety.”
The accusations were originally reported in a Huffington Post story earlier this year.
The statement from Stanford spokeswoman’s appeared to raise questions about the victims’ participation, saying: “Without the cooperation of victims, regrettably the university is very limited in what it can do.”
The complaint, however, outlines in the detail how the women, including the first victim, spoke up about their assaults to numerous officials and were repeatedly persuaded not to file complains.
“Women will not have an equal opportunity to succeed academically until the epidemic of sexual violence on campus ends,” Rebecca Peterson-Fisher, senior staff attorney with Equal Rights Advocates, said in a statement. “Institutions like Stanford need to be held accountable for their failure to recognize the severity of these crimes.”

Stanford accused in lawsuit of ignoring complaints about serial sexual 'predator' Sam Levin 7 December 2016

Suit: Stanford Had a Sexual Predator on Its Hands, Did Nothing Kate Seamons Dec 7, 2016

A 15-year old football player at De La Salle High School in California is being investigated for sexually assaulting a female student after a game. The boy’s father has come to his son’s defense, insisting that encounter must have been consensual because his son is good-looking.
“He’s tall, dark and handsome, he plays for De La Salle, there’s a lot of girls that want to be with my son,” the 38-year-old, who is a registered sex offender, told the Bay Area News Group. “When young, fast girls see something they like, they go after it.”
The assault took place on November 18, after a varsity football game. The suspect’s father told San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX that his son and the victim “were just two teenagers having sex; they were just doing it at the wrong place, at the wrong time.”
The family of the victim, who is a student at Carondelet High School, stated adamantly that the sexual encounter was not consensual. They told KPIX that the boy was bragging about the assault in school. The victim also said that “[i]t’s not OK for this to happen to anyone. And it’s not OK for people, like society, to feel like the person that’s been hurt, that they’ve done something wrong to feel ashamed about the situation … Boys need to know that no means no, period. Point blank.”
Police arrested the suspect last week, but have since released him from custody. According to NBC Bay Area, investigations into the case will nevertheless continue.

Looking to start your next reading year off right? You can read an exclusive excerpt of Kate Hart's debut YA novel, After the Fall, right here on Bustle. After the Fall is out on Jan. 24 from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and is available for pre-order now from your favorite retailer.
You might know Hart as the host of Badass Ladies You Should Know: a popular blog that profiles amazing women in the world. She's also the woman responsible for the "diversity in YA" infographics you may have seen on Jezebel and The Huffington Post.
In After the Fall, Hart explores the ramifications of sexual assault on a young woman's life and friendships. Protagonist Raychel is forging a new relationship with Andrew, unaware that his older brother, Matt, already considers her his girlfriend. Andrew and Matt come from a wealthy family, whereas Raychel is "poor white trash from the Delta,"and Matt's classism makes his more-accepting younger brother all the more attractive. But when Raychel is attacked at a frat party by a jock named Carson, both brothers — along with the community of their peers at large — interpret the encounter as consensual and label Raychel a "slut."
Read an exclusive excerpt from Kate Hart's debut YA novel, After the Fall, below, and share your thoughts with me on Twitter!
Kate Hart's Debut YA 'After The Fall' Is An Important Look At High School Rape Culture KRISTIAN WILSON 

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