A Shepherd University police cruiser parked outside of the former police station, which is now located in Moler Hall.

Police Send Out Alert About Sexual Assault

(THE PICKET) – A report of non-consensual sexual fondling was made on Wednesday, Oct. 26, about an incident in a residence hall, Shepherd University Police Chief John McAvoy disclosed Thursday in a campus-wide email.

The complaint says that the incident occurred in an unidentified residence hall on Mon., Oct. 25, and that the complaint made it clear that the sexual contact was unwanted and was forcibly imposed.

“The complainant plainly expressed that sexual contact was unwanted, but no one else was present and the perpetrator forcibly imposed contact. The suspect has been identified as a student and the investigation is ongoing,” McAvoy’s email said. McAvoy was unavailable for comment on Thursday.

McAvoy included a definition of consent in his email:

“ Consent is
• A knowing, voluntary, and mutual agreement to engage in sexual activity
• Clear and unambiguous permission
• Active, not passive. Silence, passivity, or lack of resistance does not imply consent.
• Ongoing and not implied.

Consent cannot be obtained when a person is:
• Incapacitated due to
O consumption of drugs or alcohol
o mental or physical disability
• Coerced or intimidated
• Forced
• Physically helpless
• Unconscious or asleep

When consent is withdrawn or can no longer be given, sexual activity must stop.
The definition of consent does not vary based upon a participant’s sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” McAvoy wrote.

According to the university police daily crime reports, which are available on the university’s website, this is the fourth reported fondling incident Shepherd has had during the fall 2016 semester. This is already double the number of reported fondling incidents for 2015 that were listed in the annual campus security report that the university police are required to release at the beginning of October.

Shepherd University wants every student to know that they have a right to a safe educational environment, and that support can be found at http://www.shepherd.edu/victim-resource-center, and that if any student has been the victim of an assault to please report it to the university police.

Westley Elkins is a staff writer for The Picket. He can be reached via email at jelkin01@rams.shepherd.edu and followed on Twitter @WesElkins.

1 Comment Posted

  1. If the dormitories had more controls this would help eliminate these issues. Why do we need coed dormitories? Why cant there be more restrictions on inter-visitation? A college dormitory should provide a safe living and learning environment.

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