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Like Anna, the student said friends of the accused had retaliated against her for reporting the assault. When she changed her mind six months later, the district attorney, R. Although federal officials estimate that up to 20 percent of college students will be sexually assaulted in school, Mr. Tantillo said he rarely heard of such reports at Hobart and William Smith. She did express a desire to see a counselor after she had slept. The school said it was legally obligated to identify Anna to students who might have been called to testify in a possible criminal proceeding.
Anna and her girlfriends often joked about how the national rape estimates might affect them. But they cited privacy laws in declining to answer specific questions. And it was at one fraternity, Kappa Sigma, where sometime between and 10 p.
Her friend tried calling, but got no response. With no advocate to speak up for her at the disciplinary hearing, panelists interrupted her answers, at times misrepresented evidence and asked about a campus-police report she had not seen.
No date-rape drugs were found, but based on tests at the hospital, her blood-alcohol level at the time of the first sexual encounter would have been about twice what is considered legally drunk. The caller identified herself as Maria Finger, a psychologist at the school. This summer, a committee of faculty, staff and students is studying whether the school can deal more effectively with sexual misconduct. They recommended that a hospital evaluate her. At a. In May, the federal Department of Education disclosed for the first time the names of colleges — 55 in all, including Hobart and William Smith — under investigation for possibly violating federal rules aimed at stopping sexual harassment.
The friend who had walked Anna home from the Barn accompanied her to the hospital.
After she tried to vomit, classmates changed her clothes and put her to bed. Colleges nationwide are navigating the treacherous legal and emotional terrain of sexual assault.
After a few hours of sleep, Anna gave a statement to the Office of Campus Safety. Yet they continued to worry, fearing she had been drugged and raped. For that reason, the school held what students call rape seminars, the first in a program that, Mr. Flowers said, has made Hobart and William Smith a leader in preventing sexual violence. Other students provided their own statements, including the three accused football players. The great majority — including the student in this case — choose their school, because of the expectation of anonymity and the belief that administrators will offer the sort of support that the police will not.
Some had their cellphones out, apparently taking pictures, he said.
Hobart and William Smith, on a hill overlooking Seneca Lake, deep in Finger Lakes wine country, is technically two small liberal-arts colleges — Hobart for men, William Smith for women. Emotionally battered, Anna later took a leave and returned home. A subsequent message was darker, talking of hookups. As the case illustrates, school disciplinary panels are a world unto themselves, operating in secret with scant ability and limited protections for the accuser or the accused. She was pale and disoriented.
How the suspects’ stories changed
The hearing proceeded before her rape-kit were known, and the medical records indicating trauma were not shown to two of the three panel members. The football team went on to finish undefeated in its conference, while the woman was left, she said, to face the consequences — threats and harassment for accusing members of the most popular sports team on campus.
Around midnight, the missing girl texted a friend, saying she was frightened by a student she had met that evening. The closest one with a trained sexual-assault nurse was 20 to 30 minutes away in Canandaigua.
Yet privacy laws did not stop Hobart and William Smith from disclosing the name of the woman — a possible rape victim — in letters to dozens of students. One friend remembered that she had asked a football player earlier if he knew where Anna was. The fraternity houses, where so many parties occur, sit high above the lake. College administrators have their own incentive to deal with such cases on campus, since a public prosecution could frighten parents, prospective students and donors.
The two functions are now separate. It took the college just 12 days to investigate the rape report, hold a hearing and clear the football players. Flowers, vice president for student affairs.
Later there was dancing. Its 2, students share the same campus, classes, dorms and overall administration, but receive degrees from their respective schools. She drank one beer at the dance, she said, and then the rest of an opened beer her dance partner had given her. Around 1 a. A friend tried to stop her, but she went anyway.
Anna later identified him as one of her assailants.
At p. The friend walked Anna back to her dorm. Whatever precisely happened that September night, the internal records, along with interviews with students, sexual-assault experts and college officials, depict a school ill prepared to evaluate an allegation so serious that, if proved in a court of law, would be a felony, with a likely prison sentence. It took one visit for Anna to know this was where she wanted to be. There was something else: She had entered what is commonly known as the Red Zone, a period of vulnerability for sexual assaults, beginning when freshmen first walk onto campus until Thanksgiving break.
To this day, Anna says she remembers nothing about the Barn, the pool table or what happened there. That can lead to experimentation, including excessive drinking and attendant problems. In the early-morning hours on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in central New York, the friend said, he found her — bent over a pool table as a football player appeared to be sexually assaulting her from behind in a darkened dance hall with six or seven people watching and laughing.
Two other players, also accused of sexually assaulting the woman, denied the charge as well. About the same time, Anna texted the friend who had tried to intervene earlier; she had asked him to hold her keys because she had a hole in her pocket, and wanted them back. Even so, tests later found sperm or semen in her vagina, in her rectum and on her underwear.
Anna, who considers herself anything but preppy, quickly grasped the challenge. One panelist did not appear to know what a rape exam entails or why it might be unpleasant. They are not being identified in this article because the school cleared them.
While the school explained to Anna that talking to the police was an important option, she said, she decided against it after a school administrator said it would be a longer, drawn-out process. At a time of great emotional turmoil, students who say they were assaulted must make a choice: Seek help from their school, turn to the criminal justice system or simply remain silent.
While driving Anna back to her dorm, Sergeant Pluretti reported, he pulled over four times so she could vomit. Yet many students come to regret that decision, wishing they had never reported the assault in the first place. Turning to the police may not offer a more equitable alternative. Inside the dimly lit room, a D. Around a. Around midnight, a fraternity member tried to enter his room, but found it locked. Eventually he tracked her to a building called the Barn, a dance hall favored by students who do not belong to fraternities.
The visitor quickly left. Anna said she had begun the evening drinking shots of rum mixed into Gatorade. After that disclosure, the woman spoke with her parents and agreed to have The Times use her first name, Anna, as well as her photograph. Gearan, sent letters to the college community, saying the school was confident it had not violated federal law.
The football player at the pool table had also been at the fraternity house — in both places with his pants down — but denied raping her, saying he was too tired after a football game to get an erection. Sokolow, a legal adviser to the school.
The woman at Hobart and William Smith is no exception. He smirked and made a crude allusion to a sexual act with Anna.
As the hours passed, he later told school officials, she began to talk about what had happened at Kappa Sigma: She was in a room with several boys and girls who left her alone with the football player; three times she refused his request for sex; two other football players entered the room, and she was sexually assaulted.
Anna and a senior football player she had just met were grinding to the music, rubbing their bodies together. On the way, another student saw her crying.