Emerson College allegedly ignored complaint of sexual assault

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October 10, 2013, 8:09 am
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(NECN: Jackie Bruno, Boston) – Outrage is growing on the Boston campus of Emerson College. This comes after a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education over the college’s handling of a sexual assault report.

Students at Emerson are furious about how the school allegedly handles allegations of rape on campus, but now the school says they’re going to do better and make changes.

Emerson College says they can do better when it comes to sexual assaults on campus.

This comes after a student claims they took months to address her report of rape on campus, and during that time she was reportedly raped a second time by the same student in her dorm where they both lived. She says Emerson told her not to go to police, according to the Boston Globe.

“It’s just something that’s extremely unsettling, doesn’t make me feel like I would go to the school for help with anything,” says sophomore Alex DePalma.

And according to the Boston Globe, the victimized student says the school told her not to go to police.

"That should have been the first place they told her to go."

Sarah LaFlamme says she, too, is a victim of sexual assault. It didn't happen at Emerson College but she believes students need a network for help.

"I think it's good to bring in people who have been assaulted to work with students and I think they have put something in place to do that."

College President M. Lee Pelton said the school will hire a “sexual assault” advocate who will support sexual assault victims and oversee how the school responds to reports of abuse.

“I think it’s good that they’re trying to do something,” said one young man.

One R.A. told us she believes the school is moving in the right direction.

“Already this year, RA’s had implemented additional sexual assault training, and the college is taking it very seriously, and they are going to do better, we will do better in the future,” said senior Kara Rotschafer.

The Huffington Post is reporting that a group of students have filed a federal complaint against the school because of this situation. But because of the shutdown, that complaint won't be handled until the government reopens.

Tags: Boston, Boston Globe, Emerson College, Jackie Bruno, Huffington Post, rape allegations, sexual assault investigation, alex depalma, m. lee pelton, kara rotschafer
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