UMass admits mistake in mishandling of sex assault
By WGGB Staff
AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — A University of Massachusetts official has admitted the school has made a mistake in the way it handled a sexual assault accusation after it came to light the alleged attacker avoided significant penalties and was allowed to remain at the school.
The controversy started after a Boston Globe article publicized a situation in which a young girl had allegedly accused a male student of a sexual assault. The man admitted to the crime, according to the report, but was given a deferred suspension and allowed to remain in campus housing. That student has since moved from campus housing, according to university officials.
Since the article was published, the university has faced criticism over the disciplinary decision. On Friday, several students said while walking through campus they felt unsafe as a result of that decision.
On Thursday, university officials met with students for a hearing on the matter after the New England Center for Investigative Reporting highlighted the incident as an example of widespread failure of colleges to aggressively discipline sexual offenders on campuses. During that meeting, an official admitted their decision was a mistake and said they would work to regain the community’s trust.