Kathryn's law: Harrington supports campus cop demotion

The days of campus police leading murder and rape investigations are coming to an end if the parents of slain Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington have anything to say about it.

On November 16, the Virginia Crime Commission will hear testimony from the Harringtons and other victims in support of HB2490, also known as Kathryn's Law, which would require campus police departments to hand over such serious criminal investigations to local law enforcement agencies.

"I don't anticipate a fight," says Morgan's mother Gil Harrington, who visited the John Paul Jones Arena on Thursday, September 9 to speak with media about the proposed law. "It just makes sense."

The mother of the young woman whose case inspired the bill, Susan Russell, has also expressed hope that this year lawmakers will approve the measure. (It was passed over last year by the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee, which recommended it for review by the Crime Commission.)

Having called it "a bill for victims," Russell says her daughter, Kathryn Russell, was allegedly raped in an off-campus apartment, and the alleged assailant, a fellow UVA student, was never prosecuted or punished in any way by the school.

Russell has publicly criticized UVA for its handling of her daughter's case, and she's not the only one. Liz Seccuro made international news in 2006 after her UVA rapist confessed to the 22-years-earlier crime and was convicted of attacking her. She wrote a book published earlier this year alleging that the UVA hospital wouldn't test her with a rape kit and that administrators discouraged her from pressing charges.

And perhaps no one has more reason to be angry than the family of Pat Collins, the UVA graduate student who disappeared in 1986. His family has long contended that the UVA Police Department bungled the investigation– a view recently bolstered when the FBI agent whose support for the UVA Department warded off official inquiries revealed, in a recent Hook cover story, that he's now sorry.

Neither UVA spokesperson Carol Wood nor UVA Police spokerson Melissa Fielding immediately responded to a reporter's query.

Harrington has never criticized the UVA Police, an accreditation-seeking professional department that quickly handed jurisdiction of her daughter's case over to the Virginia State Police after the young woman was reported missing after an October 2009 Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena on the UVA Grounds.

By speaking publicly now, more than two months before the Virginia Crime Commission hearing, Harrington says she hopes to increase awareness and urges the public to contact their legislators to express support for the bill. She's also hoping to see a federal law enacted that would provide investigative consistency on campuses in every state.

"The response to murder and rape," she says, "should be the same across the nation."

Online correction: The caption under the photo of Gil Harrington described the sign by which she stands as new. According to UVA spokesperson Carol Wood, those signs are not new–Ed.


UVA Police are fully accredited? By whom? You might want to rethink that statement.

@Just me: Oops, I edited that error into Ms. Stuart's draft and have now rewritten that sentence to remove the phrase "fully accredited agency." Thanks for the heads up.--editor Hawes Spencer

These unsolved murders continue to haunt our town. Keeping order is a job for a university police department, but more serious crimes need to be handed over. There is no need to have 2 police departments, in such a small area, with the type of training required to handle these incidents.

Thanks for your support, Gil!

Susan...we are here for you and Kathryn. This is just another way of turning what happened to Morgan into something positive and for the better of the community and students.

@Amanda: Thank you! I urge everyone who is interested in the passage of HB2490 to take a few minutes and send a note of support for the passage of this bill to the Chair of the Virginia Crime Commission, Delegate Rob Bell, at . and also to the Vice Chair, Senator Janet Howell, at .

To read more about HB2490, please visit our Facebook page "Virginia House Bill 2490" at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Virginia-House-Bill-2490/104956822912181

Is someone in law enforcment responsible for this crime?

UVA is much like the Vatican. A country within a country with its own laws, doctrines and way of doing things. Its subjects are its employees. It has its own security/police and energy sources and transportation and pays no taxes. It even had its Pope John Paul.

I do hope no one tries to fight this. It really is logical. I am surprised that it hasn't been this way all along. UVA is a state school, certain crimes should be handled by State law enforcement.

@John Doe: The perp was a student at UVA. The issue is that the UVA police did not follow protocol when investigating this crime. Charlottesville police refuse to investigate the crime because it occurred on campus grounds. I don't care who is trained or who they train with - the fact is that a young woman reported a crime to BOTH police departments and neither department assisted this young crime victim. The UVA police report left out substantial facts and was full of innuendo - an example is that when she told the police that during the attack "he forced his face against hers to kiss her", the UVA police reports says "She remembers kissing him". Police are supposed to report the details, not edit them. This bill is a common sense bill and applies only to felony crimes that occur on a college campus.

This bill was introduced because a victim was denied her rights. She reported a rape to the UVA campus police. THEY - the UVA police - waited 10 days before interviewing the perp, failed to take forensics, failed to interview anyone the young woman was with that night to corroborate her story. The UVA police report contained false and misleading statements and gave the Commonwealth Attorney nothing to use to prosecute the crime. The young woman then went to the Charlottesville police to report the crime and THEY refused to investigate and used jurisdiction as the reason why they could not investigate this campus crime.

The Bottom Line is that the two police departments failed to assist the victim.

What my daughter and I learned is that this case is not unique. UVA sweeps crime under the rug, and the local police allows them to.

Everyone knows the University sweeps crime under the rug. That's why UVA was cited for failure to adhere to the Clery Act and has two Title IX cases pending. UVA admitted to the General Assembly that the year my daughter was raped, there were 58 reported rapes on campus that year. Three were adjudicated and no one was expelled. What that means for the community is that UVA is not interested in deterring rapes on their campus. Oh yes, they have rewrittene their sexual assault policies and want a great big pat on the back -- but there are hundreds of women who have been victims of rape at UVA who know that nothing will change until the attitudes of the administration change AND also when the laws are CHANGED and ENFORCED.

But maybe the locals can explain how a young victim, traumatized by a violent crime, can walk into the Charlottesville Police Station and report she had been raped and NO ONE sat her down and took a statement -- because of jurisdiction.

Remove the jurisdictional shield used by the city so that victims can have their crimes investigated properly. Every victim deserves that much.

58 reported rapes in one year??? GUUUUUDNESS

There were 58 --REPORTED-- rapes in one year.

Wonder how many went unreported?

Re: Why some crimes at UVa the City has no juridiction at all
1) UVa was entirely in Albemarle in 1885 when C-ville was formed
2) As Charlottesville annexed land it could not annex UVa/State land thus most of "old" UVa though within the general City lines are still technically Albemarle Co. and the City has no juridiction at all. This being Rotunda, Pavillions, Scott stadium etc.
3) If the UVa bought land after the City had annexed it would be in the City. This is not the majority of UVA.
Thus: crimes at Jag school, the old State Farm building (across from Barrack's Road) which were in the City when the UVa bought the land would be City juridiction.


I am not sure number 3 is correct. I was of the understanding that all land bought by UVA became County land, thus creating a real problem for the City as UVA expanded. I believe this was one of the driving factors going back to a Township, or even the revenue sharing agreement. Its many years and my memory on this is not clear.

I have a map produced by the UVa in the Pavilion I balcony collapse case , produced by the UVa. Madison Hall is in the City (formerly a YMCA building bought by UVa after the City annexed the land. Across the street the Rotunda etc is in the County. The old hospital is in the County. the new hospital across Jefferson Park St. is in the City. The Jag school and State farm building is in the City. Copeley Hill is in the County. The new building where the Harrington case would be would be County. U-Hall building near that is the one buiding bisected by both as it was built on a "old City" line.

In the Pavilion I balcony collapse case. The estate of Mary Jo Brashear filed in the City against the UVa & State. The UVa filed to move the case to the County as Pavilion I is technically in the County. The Plaintiff came back that supervisors had offices in Madison Hall across the street in the City and Y in charge of Pavilion maintenance lived at old Judge Duke's house, Sunnyside, behind Barrack's road but owned by the UVa in City bounds. The Plaintiff always wants a case in the City and the Defendant wants it in the County around here. The UVa/State settled and put a memorial marker in front of Pav I (that was not part of the settlement, the UVa wanted to do that). If this law passes and there is no other agreement then the UVA police will have to have one of these jigsaw juridiction maps as to when each bit of the UVa is in the County or City.

I wonder how many of those reported rapes were actually RAPES??

@Reported? I am not sure what you intend with your question; however, I'm certain that for a woman to report a rape takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength. That wouldn't be something most women would do for any other reason that because it needed to be done. It would be unpleasant at best and most likely downright hellish. I support this measure - it should have been done a long time ago. I've told my college-aged daughter to ALWAYS go to the city or state police and not the campus police when she needs help. The colleges have too much at stake to take care of my child as they should. Yeardley Love's accused killer was arrested because her friends/roommates called the rescue squad who in turn called the police. Who can say what the outcome would have been if they had called campus police instead.

Reported? jus tryin to get at da numba of dem reports dat wuz false accusations. Fair question, wrong way to raise it dough. Just as fair as askin da number dat wuz never reported for whateva da reason may be (scurd, embarrazsd, etc...).

Da real truth behind all deez numbahs is prolly real scary mane. No joke

@tim brown: You wrote...""Just as fair as askin..." Not tryin to be a "grammer notzee" but it is spelled "axin". "Just as fair as...axin..." Holla.

What a joke this proposed law is! Most cases involving campus rape allegations come down to he-said-she-said accounts of sexual acts that clearly occurred; they lack independent corroboration like physical evidence or eyewitness testimony. At times, alcohol and drugs play such a central role, students can’t remember details.

All of this is what happened in Kathryn's case. I know because I was there and was apart of her school complaint when I used to work there. I now work overseas as an administrator. I saw her complaint from start to finish. I felt, and still feel, that there was simply not enough evidence for a finding of responsibility on the part of the young man - certainly not enough evidence to place the handle on a guy by saying he is a sex offender! (Remember Duke?)

That is also why the DA refused to take the case. Not enough evidence.

What this proposed law fails to address, and all the dummies here seem to ignore, is: who is going to part for all of this?

By handing off all the cases to the city cops, you will be greatly increasing their workloads and resources. But with no funding for increased staff to meet this demand, ALL cases will be handled half-assed and cops will be looking for even more excuses to shit can cases - and not just the marginal cases that they already shit can.

The above comment is fabricated and most likely written by the accused. The fact that he doesn't have the spine to sign his name says it all. Anyone who would like to tell me that my daughter's case had no merit should at least have the courtesy to 1) say it to her face and 2) sign their name.

This is yet another example of why women do not have the courage and emotional fortitude to go forward with filing a rape complaint. The woman is victimized and villified simply because a man says it was consensual. Unfortunately for this case, my daughter and I are not willing to be silenced by spineless predators.

@ Lil P

Not bein one of those grammar nazis either, but it's "tryna" not "tryin to be a."


Methinkz Tim Brown is prolly one a deez educated white manes who sits around tryna immitate da black hood speak cuz he thinkz itz funny.

I'm sure No Name didn't leave his/her name because they didn't feel like dealing with the hate mail you generate.
I have no personal knowledge of your daughter's case, but I have visited your website and followed the links. Sorry to say, but No Name is right. Your daughter didn't have a prosecutable case.
If you really believe she did, why didn't you file a civil suit, a la the Goldmans and OJ Simpson? You've claimed that your daughter couldn't afford a lawyer, but if I knew to a moral certainty that my daughter had been raped, the very least I would have done was to find some money, even if it meant mortgaging my home to the hilt, to sue the perpetrator and make his life a legal Hell.
Considering that all you do is call the alleged perpetrator bad names on a website tells me that you've been told by whatever lawyers you may have approached that there is no prosecutable case. You just can't accept it.

@Pete: Thanks for the wisdom. You have no knowledge of the case and if you would like to continue this discussion off line, feel free to contact me. There will always be a segment of the population who choose to support the wrong doings of society and I count you among them. There are people in your town who believe William Beebe should not have done jail time and also believe George Hugely is innocent. They have a right to their beliefs, just as I have the right to mine. However, the issue on the table is HB2490 and whether or not it is a good law -- and it is. Too many women have come forward to say the the University did not properly investigate their rape crimes. To allow local law enforcement to work in collaboration with campus police on rape crimes is appropriate. If my daughter's crime had been investigated properly we would not still be debating the case seven years later. My daughter had the right to a proper police investigation. Her rights were violated. This bill is a response to the inadequate investigation - not only for her case, but for the hundreds of cases that fall through the cracks on campuses all across Virginia.

@NO NAME: You couldn't possible by an administrator by the poor language and sentence structure of your comment! I was there and know what happened, too. Her roommate should have been brought up on Honor Trial charges for bringing this guy to their apartment. The police detective should have been fired for falsifying the police report. The hospital should have had a SANE nurse on duty that night and they didn't. Why was the SAB held in the summer after everyone had left grounds? Why did the Dean who helped her leave the school abruptly - was she fired? What happened after the second girl reported she had been raped by him? Why wasn't he expelled after he was found guilty by the SAB? Don't forget that the Dept of Education agreed that the school violated the Clery Act when they required her to sign a Confidentiality Clause. I could go on and on .... C'mon -- you are not knowledgeable of the case. She's not arguing her case publicly ... she's put herself out there as an example to make sure the laws are changed so others don't have to go through the hell she went through. I hope HB2490 passes!! Hats off to you Kathryn!!

It is common knowledge at UVA that anything bad that happens after the kegs are tapped at 4 pm is going to be hushed up by UVA's private, armed militia - at the behest of a university that takes PR much more seriously than the well being of its students. The vast majority of students are OK with this, whereas many UVA police officers are not.

Hundreds (thousands?) of sexual assault cases have been covered up with the help of the UVA Women's Center and the Clery Act. Local media did what they were told when a frat guy dropped dead on Rugby Road in April, 2010 - and even the Hook did not dare mention it. Details regarding the Harrington case that involved UVA students or UVA areas were not printed or covered for months (although the Hook deserves credit here for EVENTUALLY covering this). Even in the Huguley/Love case, the UVA PR machine has made sure to spin it simply as "gender violence" and ensure that what was in his bloodstream by the time he attacked her remains off the radar. Note: CITY cops were the first on the scene there. BIG difference. This is a major part of the Casteen/Sandridge legacy at UVA.

We should all be gratelul that Susan got this bill written, Rob Bell supports it (where is Toscano??), and that Gil Harrington now does also. Sitting on a $4 billion endowment makes UVA a power broker in Richmond also, but lets all hope that UVA's ability to get away with these and other things it has for the last 20 years comes to an end this winter with the passage of HB 2490.

If the school is so bad, why do you people keep going there or why do you keep sending your children there?

@Sean - Where are these "hundreds (thousands?)" of "covered up" rape cases? In this internet age, do you honestly think that a police department could get away with covering up "hundreds (thousands?)" of rape cases? You know that there are female cops, too, right? So even if the men are all bad, you'd still get some whistle blowers. Not to mention the multi-million dollar Civil Rights lawsuits.

Before joining the military, I used to be in law enforcement. There is no way in hell I or anyone else I knew would cover up a legitimate rape case. What would be the motive for the street cop to do that? As much as I liked the people that I worked with and for, there isn't one of them that is worth going to jail for. Covering up a rape case - let alone "hundreds (thousands?)" of rape cases is not the same thing as fixing a buddy's parking or speeding ticket.

Remember this isn't Mexico or some drama in the Lifetime Network (or is it Oxygen Network?).

Rape cases are HUGELY difficult to prosecute to prosecute - especially so when it is a "he said / she said" kind of thing.

I feel bad for this girl and her mother, just as anyone would. But my feeling bad for someone's situation doesn't translate into me automatically finding someone guilty of a very serious crime.

It is human nature to want to believe in conspiracy theories. We all want to believe that "someone" is responsible for the hurt (real or imagined) that we have suffered, instead of just life's randomness or "shit happens." And when our kids tell us that someone hurt them, we want to believe our children.

But No Name is right - who is going to pay for all of this new policing that we want done? Do we just force the cops to do more with less? Yeah, that works really well - NOT. Or do we take the money from welfare programs or school lunch programs, or highway dept. funds?

The bottom line, as much as I loved the chief that I used to work for, I would not go to jail for him. I would not put my family at risk like that. All it would take is for one person to spill the beans and we'd all be sent up the river for a long, long time.

No one is covering up cases here.

By the way, the headline to this story is very misleading. It is not a demotion at all. It is just a shifting of the work load from one entity to another. No one's pay or benefits are being effected.

Finally, it is a sorry fact of life that cops do sometimes "bungle" cases. Even high profile cases in big city departments (OJ anyone?). This law is no guarantee that cases won't be screwed up in the future.

Also, I haven't heard anyone mention whether or not the city officers are trained any differently or better then the college cops are. The state requires a minimum number of hours training to be certified as a police officer. Since the university system as a much larger budget and applicant pool to draw upon, one would assume that their training would be superior. But I do not know this to be true one way or the other.

But there is no guarantee that the situation will get any better (at least from the perspective of Ms. Russell, et al).

So who would handle the cases? City or county? Most of UVA was on county property before it was made a separate jurisdiction. Some of the newer buildings were built on what was city property before UVA purchased the land. And, what about crimes committed in the research centers definitely in the county before UVA obtained the property? Charlottesville gets jurisdiction over all? Aren't you worried that Charlottesville might be inclined to do the same that you accuse UVA police of doing? Many inhabitants of both Albemarle and Charlottesville work for UVA. It is a big employer. They have a stake in keeping it "clean." Seems to me if you are concerned about the investigations of these major crimes perhaps they should be turned over to VSP instead of local police. It occurs to me that as soon as investigations do not turn out the way a person wants, they will still be crying "cover up."

In the past, UVA police were better suited for traffic problems, etc. But now, they are just as well trained as local police. It seems if you are worried about bias or "cover up," you should take it completely out of the locality. The Harrington case was turned over to the VSP within a couple days, so I don't see how this would have had a bearing on that case.

Also, who pays? Why should the locality pay for crime they have to cover on a campus? The college should have to bear the expense of the investigations.

@Todd: The Clery Act requires the school to report the number of rapes and sexual assaults that are reported on campus every year. During the testimony to the General Assembly in February, the UVA rep stated that during the year Ms Russell's daughter wasa raped, there were 58 reported rapes/sexual assaults on campus. Three were adjudicated, no one was expelled. As a matter of fact, no one has been expelled in the past ten years for rape/sexual assault, even when found guilty by a board of peers in a sexual assault/honor trial. That, to me, is a cover up. As a LE, you can appreciate how hard it is to make arrests -- but in that year 58 reported rapes should have resulted in at least one arrest -- unless the dept takes the view that none are prosecutable. Therefore they don't interview possible witnesses, fail to take forensics, and don't document what the victim tells them happened to corroborate her story. In this case, the cop waited 10 days before interviewing the perp and that was unacceptable - he should have been interviewed as soon as she reported the case to the police.

Everyone keeps forgetting that this legislation does not mandate extra work for the local cops. Perhaps the feeling is that felony crimes that occur on a college campus don't deserve local law response? how many felony crimes are there that this would be a fiscal burden for the community?? No, the rationale is good - when a murder occurs, local law enforcement should take the lead to investigate. When a felony rape occurs, the local police should work in collaboration with campus police to resolve the case. It makes the community safer. Then the perps know that the campus cops and local cops are wise to their behavior - they will not slip through the cracks a 2nd and 3rd time.

Todd - sure wish you were investigating these campus rapes -- sounds like you would not turn a blind eye to them!

@Clara: The school's process of adjudicating student complaints is, at best, nothing more then a kangaroo court. Y'all do understand that, don't you? It is not a real court of law.

You say that because no one has been expelled for rape in the last ten years, that somehow shows that the school's system is broken. You forget, though, that the school's system is NOT set up to try or handle criminal cases. It is just a form of informal arbitration or dispute resolution. There are no Rules of Evidence or any of that jazz that you see in a real court of law.

If I got a beef with my roommate or someone is accused to cheating on a test, or stuff like that, yes, this system can handle it. But it was never designed nor intended to be a substitute for the criminal justice system.

The school does not make the decision for law enforcement as to whether or not a case gets prosecuted by the county or district attorney's office. It is a completely seperate deal.

Plus, participation in the school's dispute resolution system is completely voluntary by the students. Both the accused and the complaintant have to agree to be involved.

Here is why the schools do not expel someone for rape (unless they've already been convicted or gone through the criminal justice system).

But let me give you a scenario here, Clara. We are students. You and I go out. You claim that I raped you. I say I don't know what you're talking about. You either agreed to the sex or it never happened to begin with. You go to the cops and DA, but they don't prosecute me and you can't find a lawyer who will take your case, so you cannot sue me. Your only alternative to get some form of "justice" is to take me before the school's Honor Committee.

So let's say that at the end of this process the school finds in your favor that, yes indeed, Todd sexually assaulted you (while I doubt the school would put it in such terms, let's pretend that this is what they are saying that I basically did - that I raped you.)

So now what? What is the school to do as a way of punishing me????

Let us now say that the school decides to give me the maximum possible punishment - they expel me. Now what?

You don't think I am not going to run out and find the nearest lawyer that I can to turn around and sue the school for defamation and violation of my rights to Due Process and such? The school, unlike me, has very deep pockets. So it will be easy to find a lawyer willing to take on the case because the potential payoff will be huge and, if successful, payment would be guaranteed (unlike with me, who has no money or real assets - at least compared to a billion dollar school).

The evidence that I would present would be all the cops and DA's, who would all testify that there was absolutely no evidence to support your allegation. That is why they did not prosecute me. I would present evidence that these people are EXPERTS in the detection and prosecution of sexual assault cases, that they are sooo good at their jobs that they can smell a rapist a mile a way - sorta like the folks on L & O:SVU. But in my case, there just wasn't anything to your complaint.

What evidence could the school present to defend themselves? Well, there would be your testimony that I raped you. But the police did not believe you. The DA did not believe you. The Grand Jury did not believe you. They are all saying that there was no evidence whatsoever to support your allegation. So why should the jury in my lawsuit against the school believe you when no one else - experts and law enforcement officials - believed you?

Then my wise and oh so slick attorney mentions the spectre of the Duke LaCross case. Or how about the case of Alexandra Edinger, the VA Tech student who was just arrested a couple of months ago for making a false rape allegation?

So after my attorney brings up all of this, how big of a payday do you think I will end up getting from my lawsuit? A payday the tax payers will be on the hook for.

That, Clara, is why you will NEVER find a university anywhere in the country willing to expel a student simply based upon a honor code violation for a finding of sexual assault.

Yes, they will expel me if I was already found guilty in a court of law, or if I had been indicted but not yet convicted, or if I was arrested red-handed so to speak.

But not simply on the basis of an Honor Committee's decision. The stakes are simply to high here. It is one thing to expel a student for being super drunk or cheating on an exam, or stuff like that. It is another matter entirely when you expel someone for serious - serious - criminal conduct when all the cops and DA's are saying that it didn't happen or that there is no evidence to support it.

Lastly, I appreciate your comment, Clara. I would not turn - nor have I ever turned - a blind eye to any criminal accusation. I go where the evidence takes me. If I think someone did it, I arrest them. If I don't think they did it, I don't and then I let someone else look over my paperwork to see if they feel the same way, too.

Plus, anything that help law enforcement agencies communicate better with one another is a good thing. Sort of like the stuff the 9/11 commission reported re: the FBI & CIA not talking to each other. The bad guys can slip through the cracks that way.

Methinks that Ms. Russell is doing a HUGE disservice to her daughter. In this age of google, her daughter will never be able to escape this issue. Stuff like this is much harder on girls then it is for boys. There is a double standard for these kinds of things. All the ranting and raving won't make that go away. It is what it is. Being a rape victim is bad enough. But being a woman who made a false rape complaint is much, much worse. (And, for all intents and purposes, that is what your daughter is since all the cops & DAs turned down the case. In the eyes of the law, the boy is innocent and not guilty of anything.)

You trying to turn your daughter into something that she isn't or - most likely, doesn't want to be, is causing her far more harm then an alleged sexual encounter gone wrong. I am sure that I am not the first person to tell you this, but you just have to move on with your life, Ms. Russell.

Call to Action on Sexual Harassment
April 4, 2011
"Late last year, the U.S. Education Department negotiated agreements with two colleges that required them to tighten procedures for dealing with sexual harassment complaints under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Experts read the agreements, which were much more extensive than past ones, as a clear message that the department's Office for Civil Rights was cracking down on Title IX violations.

If other colleges didn't get the memo then, they will undoubtedly get it now. Today, OCR is sending a "Dear Colleague" letter to colleges, universities and schools across the country to assertively remind them of -- and help them carry out -- the Title IX requirements on the prevention of sexual harassment they must adhere to as federally funded institutions.

While the document is described as a clarification, it contains several key shifts. The department is stipulating that the burden of proof required for colleges to take action is less than that required for criminal convictions, and stating that there are specific requirements that apply to colleges for incidents that take place off-campus."


9/16/2011: Charlottesville CrimeView. Perpetrator unknown. No inference drawn except near campus rapes continue:

Case # Incident Location Date Time
201105517 SEX OFFENSE - FORCIBLE RAPE 100 BLOCK 14TH ST NW 20110914 2325

@Todd: It's apparent you don't know the facts and for you to summarize the violent assault she endured as "a sexual encounter gone wrong" is why she has always spoken out to educate people about this crime. To then go on and accuse her of making a false rape complaint is vile - especially since you do not have knowledge of the case details.

This article and discussion shows that HB2490 is not just about my daughter's assault; HB2490 is about protecting victims rights - the right for all felony crime victims to have a proper and objective investigation. The value of this law was seen in Tennessee -- check out "Robbie's Law" and see how a campus covered up the murder of a bright young man.

Many people agree that when a felony crime (murder or rape) occurs on a college campus, the local law enforcement should be immediately contacted. All law enforcement within a college town (local and campus) should work in collaboration with each other to resolve and deter crime. Police departments sharing information and working in collaboration with each other not only assures the victim that their case is being investigated throughly, it assures that false accusations will be flushed out and dealt with appropriately. It sends a message to the perps that they will be dealt with because all police efforts will be collaborative - no one can slip under the radar. It's a win-win for everyone and should be supported by the schools as well as the local police.

Incidentally, the State Police came forward during the Feb General Assembly subcommittee vote and publicly supported this bill.

@Criminal Convictions: The Standard of Proof for a Student Sexual Assault Board is the "Preponderence of Evidence", which is the same Standard of Proof that is used in a civil court. UVA has always maintained that the higher Standard of Proof, "Clear and Convincing", was to be used in their SABs. The new SA policy requires them to use the correct Standard of Proof for a guilty finding. That makes it even more poignant to note that no one found guilty of sexual assault through a UVA sexual assault board, using the higher standard of proof, has ever been suspended or expelled. (A criminal conviction Standard of Proof is "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt".)

Dear Tod,
You must be a single childless clueless fellow. Every one who keeps abreast of these issues knows not only UVA but scores of other schools live in a theater of perception. Save face at all costs. Even if that means women having to endure the piggish motives of men with no expectation of justice or vindication. Its entirely all about image in the community. Its not a complicated issue, men are pigs and citizens are clueless. This effort to take law enforcement out of the hands of brown shirts is long over due. Not to mention the fact its been a crime that it has ever come to this in the first place.
So Tod, go spew your rhetoric somewhere else to friends you know that are also clueless.

@Mow - Wow, somebody sure hates men! lulz

I think this is a good law. University police aren't trained nearly enough to handle crimes of this severity. I have a son and a daughter, so I can see both sides of the this debate. I wouldn't want my son to be falsely accused, and I certainly wouldn't want my daughter to be a rape victim. I'm not sure what the answer is there, but I don't think it's appropriate to malign Ms. Russell's daughter on this thread. In my opinion, she is a very brave young women to share her story. It is great she has her mother's support every step of the way as well as Gil Harrington--who in my opinion is a very valuable ally.

Speaking of the Harrington case, where does it stand? Is it "solved" and there isn't enough evidence to proceed? Blink from blinkoncrime.com seems to imply this--that allegedly a local security firm is possibly involved? I must say the photograph of the owner of said security firm, in my opinion, bears a resemblance to the police sketch from the 2005 incident in Fairfax. Blink claims he has a history or violence against women. I am curious what the locals think.

@Susan Russell September 14th, 2011 | 12:54pm

Just a point.

5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments

I see a couple of errors in this article. First of all, Sept. 9 2011 was not a Thursday, it was a Friday. I know because it was my birthday, and I went out that night. Second, "Thursday September 9" is not written AP style. It should be: Sept. 9. And since it happened this year, I'm pretty sure you don't include the year.
I was a copy editor for my school's newspaper last year, so this sort of stuff just sticks out to me.