Sexual assault and rape incidents reported

Kathryn Kelly

A couple days before this week’s crime log was reported, the Title IX Coordinator Amy O’Neill came to public safety with two separate reports: one of a sexual assault and one of a rape, both occurring about a year ago and both occurring in Ruef Hall, according to public safety officials.

Whether the alleged victims are students, whether they are male or female or any identifying information is unknown to The Lafayette. The identities and descriptions of the alleged assailants are also unknown to The Lafayette. At this time, the college is not releasing any more information.

As for the investigation of the incidences, public safety officials said that all public safety knows is the information in the crime log, and that the Title IX coordinator’s office is working with the victims and currently conducting an internal investigation.

“We certainly can’t take any more investigative steps [without more information], but if Amy O’Neill was able to provide us with any information, we’d have something to go on,” Associate Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police at Lafayette College Jim Meyer said. “But right now that information is very limited to us. All we know is the date, the time frame, general location.”

“The victim of any crime or any sexual assault, he or she can make that decision of what they want to tell us,” he added. “They don’t have to tell us everything.”

The alleged sexual assault happened in October 2015 and the alleged rape happened in September 2015, according to the crime log.

“It’s not out of the ordinary for someone to come back a year later not necessarily to report it to us,” Meyer said. “Although it’s happened already a year later, they may report it to someone else, like the Title IX coordinator or someone on the dean’s staff.”

The victims of both cases decided to report to the Title IX coordinator first, according to Director of Public Safety Jeff Troxell. When these incidents are reported, they are included in Public Safety’s crime statistics.

When a sexual offense is reported and there is a threat deemed immediate, a Clery notification, or a timely warning notice, is sent out to the community. However, in this case, Troxell wrote in an email that Public Safety did not see any immediate threat.

“Sex offenses as are other serious crimes are considered on a case by case basis depending on when and where the incident occurred, when it was reported, the amount of information known by [the Department of Public Safety],” Troxell wrote in an email. “Based on the information we have and when it was reported it would not be considered as an immediate threat and a [timely warning notice] was not sent out to the campus community.”

O’Neill wrote in an email that she is not obliged to “share details about a report, institutional response, or an investigation or conduct process with anyone who is not involved or identified as ‘need-to-know,'” but she is required to report certain incidences as they are reported to her.

“As a Campus Security Authority, I am required to notify Public Safety when I am informed of a potential incident of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking incident that occurs on campus property or on our Clery geography for statistical purposes,” she wrote. Clery geography is defined as on campus property, public property adjacent to campus and non-campus properties owned by a student organization.