University of Portland student says school's conduct process flawed after sex assault
A University of Portland student who says she was sexually assaulted in her dorm room earlier this year says her school's conduct process is flawed, after her alleged attacker was found not responsible.
The student, who revealed her name and picture to the school's newspaper "The Beacon," says she was drinking heavily on a night in September and was back at her dorm when her alleged attacker texted her asking to see her.
"Tonight is not the best idea," she wrote. "I'm drunk haha and who knows what I'll say or do."
He replied, "If you want to let me in, we can talk about it ... [I'm] outside."
"He came over anyway and texted me and said he was outside of my dorm, and out of my curiosity I let him in," she told KATU News.
That's when the alleged sexual assault took place.
The next day, she filed a Title IX report through the school. The school's hearing committee sent her a "decision letter," saying her "behavior" that night was consistent with her past contact with the alleged perpetrator. She says she and the suspect had a brief relationship, but had never had sex.
She told university officials she was too drunk to give consent, but the committee disagreed.
"I was told that it was my fault," she told The Beacon newspaper. "To turn to the university that I trust and that I love and have them tell me, 'No, this didn't really happen to you,' it's scary."
She told The Beacon she didn't go to police because she "trusted that the university would handle it." She did not receive a medical exam following the assault.
Here's a statement from UP's Vice President of Student Affairs, Fr. John Donato:
"As I wrote last Thursday in response to specific, policy-related questions from The Beacon, UP's adherence to Title IX requirements go well beyond the requirements of federal law. One example is that the University has included a review process for Title IX cases, which is not required under federal law. After a case review request is submitted, the original hearing officers provide a written response to the case review request, including information used by the hearing officers in making his or her determination. As the case reviewer in Title IX cases, I then have the opportunity to review the conduct files, case review request submitted by the student, and the written response from the hearing officers in making my final, independent determination."