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Reported rape suspects could face dorm removal as disciplinary action

Uncharged suspects in two of the 11 sex crimes that have been reported on Ohio State’s campus since Fall Semester were removed from their on-campus housing.
Andrea Goldblum, director of Student Conduct at OSU, was not able to comment on specific cases because of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) but described the typical disciplinary action taken for students involved in any kind of nonacademic misconduct. They can be moved to different dorms or removed from on-campus housing and still attend the university, or they can be removed from the university all together, among other disciplinary actions.
“People can be removed for many different kinds of cases … Often it is either because they’ve had, and it might even be lower-level cases, but repeated cases to the point where they are suspended or dismissed from the university, or it is because they are a risk to an individual or because they are a risk to the community,” Goldblum said. “Or they just have shown that they can’t live in a community.”
On Sept. 9, a female student in Morrill Tower reported to hall staff members that after meeting a fellow resident of the building earlier in the evening, she had returned to his room with him. He then allegedly used his finger to penetrate her. When she got up to leave, he told her he would stop. She stayed, but when he then exposed himself to her, she again tried to leave the room. The suspect attempted to block the door but the victim was able to leave, according to the University Police report.
The Ohio Revised Code defines rape as “without privilege to do so, the insertion … of any part of the body or any instrument … into the vaginal or anal opening of another.”
Criminal charges were not pursued. The victim wished to remain anonymous and did not talk to police. The suspect was “supposed to move by Wednesday (Sept. 12),” according to a Morrill employee’s statement. The case on this alleged rape is closed.
In another case, a male Park-Stradley Hall staff member called University Police on Oct. 12 after an 18-year-old female resident became visibly upset. She told friends and staff members that she had returned to the hall from a bar in downtown Columbus with a male resident of Park-Stradley. The two entered the co-ed bathroom on the suspect’s floor, where the suspect then allegedly raped the victim in one of the private stalls, according to the University Police report.
Charges were not filed, but the suspect was “dismissed from OSU beginning (Nov. 29),” according to the report.
The victim said in a police statement that she heard “he had been removed from the building and suspended for 10 days.”
There have been seven rapes reported on campus since Fall Semester began. A rape reported in Paterson Hall Nov. 21 is now closed. A reported Nov. 10 rape in the Neil Avenue Residence Hall is listed as “investigation pending.” A Nov. 21 rape at Mirror Lake has been closed. A reported rape in Norton House on Jan. 8 is still listed as “investigation pending,” and a Jan. 12 rape in the Neuropsychology Department was “unfounded,” according to the University Police log.
There were also three sexual impositions and one gross sexual imposition reported on campus Fall Semester. Sexual impositions occurring on Aug. 30 on the South Oval and Aug. 31 in Medical Center East are “investigation pending.” An Oct. 14 sexual imposition in Neuropsychological Services has been closed. A gross sexual imposition that occurred Nov. 4 in Park-Stradley is still “investigation pending” as well, according to the log.
The Ohio Revised Code defines sexual imposition as “any touching of an erogenous zone of another … for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person” when the offender is aware that the contact is offensive to the other victim. A gross sexual imposition is when the victim is compelled to submit by “force or threat of force.”
The OSU Code of Student Conduct says that any student found to have engaged or attempted to engage in “sexual misconduct – Physical contact or other non-physical conduct of a sexual nature in the absence of clear, knowing and voluntary consent” is subject to disciplinary actions.
Goldblum said not all cases are treated the same.
“In any case, we look at a number of different factors in determining what’s an appropriate outcome and then weigh … anything that’s relevant. So we might, for example, look at what was the nature of the violation,” Goldblum said. “For example, in any case, something involving violence or something interpersonal, not in every case because of other circumstances, but they’re typically treated more seriously than something that really has less impact on people’s safety, security, health and wellness.”
Goldblum also said the Office of Student Conduct and University Police investigations run separate of one another.
Dave Isaacs, Student Life spokesman, said University Police deal with the law while Student Conduct deals solely with the Code of Student Conduct.
Even if the victim of an offense does not want to pursue the case with Student Conduct, Goldblum said the office might choose to continue investigating.
“On one hand, we want to honor the victim’s wishes. On the other hand we have a responsibility to that person and to the community at large to maintain as safe of a community as possible,” Goldblum said. “We’ve got a responsibility to the people here.”
Some OSU students said that removing suspects from the dorm is what they would want.
“If somebody attacked me that way, I would not want them in the same country as me basically, so I mean, it would just make me feel a lot safer,” said Charlotte Petera, a resident of Baker West and a first-year in Japanese and Korean.
Several of the students listed on the police reports did not respond to requests for comment. Other students listed on the reports refused to comment. Hall staff members referred The Lantern to Isaacs for comment.

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