The following is the content of the email I got this week. It was sent to me, by @ClaytheProducer who follows me on Twitter, and learned I was going to address the topic of sexual assault on campus. It's pretty self explanatory. To learn more about sexual assault on campus, please follow me on Twitter and visit notalone.gov.
In 1993, I was a sophomore at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Living in Wilson Dormitory. A co-ed dorm. My girlfriend, Jen, lived on 6 West. I lived on 5 West. The room is 12 X 14 with a shared bathroom with another room, the schematic resembles a dumbell. Jen's roommate, Mary was from Chicago and was a quiet, bookwormish student. Very Pretty but not engaging. She never went anywhere, had no other friendships. Jen and I saw her with a guy from the third floor, chatting in the hall way, it looked cute. Happy for Mary, she looked happily talking to a boy. One weekend, Jen and I noticed that we hadn't seen Mary. Her purse and books didn't look like they moved off her desk, so we waited in Jen's room for Mary to come home Sunday night, if she didn't we were going to call her parents.
She showed up late Sunday night, and went right into the bathroom. She was wearing shorts and I could tell her legs had been tied with something because of long red, welted streaks on her hips and ankles. What had happened is she was held captive in this guys dorm room for over 24 hours. Duct Taped and hidden under his platform loft. Sexually abused and tortured with a butcher knife.
It took her a few hours to come out of this daze. Wouldn't and couldn't talk, she was in shock. Finally, Jen got her to open up and it was Jen who called the police. She did the rape kit at the campus health facility and that's when campus police contacted her. So initially East Lansing Police was called and because the assault took place on campus involving students, their jurisdiction ended after the rape kit.
Campus police were absolutely no help. In fact they did more to convince Mary to not press charges than provide counseling or any other help for her. Mary decided, with advice from a family lawyer, to not pursue this criminally. Instead, she hoped that by going through campus police and take him to court within the Michigan State judicial system - his "educational" career would be stopped at MSU, if nothing else and maybe have a blight on his record. But she bought what the campus police told her, "It's not worth it to pursue this. Your sexual history could be brought up, your name will be smeared, you'll regret sending this boy to jail, etc" And this kid wasn't anything more than a club athlete for Lacrosse but it's eerily similar to many campus rape cases -- in fact, the same words were used by florida state campus police in the Jameis Winston case. So, she felt lets do this in-house and let the university decide the case instead.
Her trial went 6-7 hours. I was a witness to her leg injuries and I gave my tesitmony in a large meeting room with both parties in the room, as well as, campus administrators, dorm management, 50 people were in this room. I sat down and answered the questions given me. Mary was smiling, she never smiled. He was looking bad in the eyes of those in the room and expulsion seemed imminent. Instead after all that. The sadistic rapist's punishment wasn't even half that. He was found guilty of rape, coercion, illegal use and possesion of a weaopon on campus but since he was a first time offender (all of us were under age 20) he was granted a lenient sentence. Academic suspension for one semester and kicked out of the dorms. So he could become a student at MSU six months later and live off campus, and that's exactly what he did. In a strange twist, Mary and Jen moved off campus that next semester and her window looked right into his apartment, at the Lacrosse house on Michigan Avenue. Mary eventually graduated and got married, kids and moved back to Norton Shores, Illinois.
that was it. a brutal rape with weapons and mental anguish resulted in a six month suspension but no loss of privelege at Michigan State. However, MSU's process is very similar to UNLV and other major universities, over the years I've heard other stories, sadly, that resembled that awful incident and aftermath. That dude never had to do counseling either. he was the scariest kid I ever laid eyes on. Ted bundy looks, no charisma, never looked in your eyes only at the ground with a little smirk. It's easy to assume, that behavior went unchecked and likely caused more violent assaults in the future on campus or otherwise.