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Women accuse UMBC of covering up sexual assaults on campus

Posted at 8:33 AM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 08:33:17-04

UMBC is facing serious allegation after two women say the University covered up sexual assaults that occurred on campus.

The women have filed a civil lawsuit against the University and the Baltimore County Police Department. Both claim the university and police intimidated survivors, intentionally misclassified rape allegations, and destroyed rape kits.

The university released a statement saying it's committed to safety and respect at the school.

UMBC received notice this week of a civil lawsuit filed by two women alleging that the campus, Baltimore County Police, and others failed to properly respond to their reports of sexual assault in 2015 and 2017. While it is not appropriate for us to comment on specific litigation, it is essential to state that our campus is committed to safety and respect for all people and takes matters related to sexual misconduct very seriously.

Sexual assault is a deeply troubling issue. UMBC emphasizes both preventing sexual assault and responding effectively to allegations of sexual misconduct. Providing a safe, supportive learning community is our priority. This ethic of care for students, as well as compliance with Maryland and federal law, guidesuniversity policies and procedures that address the reporting and investigation of sexual misconduct.

In addition, our Office of Human Relations and Division of Student Affairs support dozens of faculty, staff, and students involved in sexual assault prevention and response with ongoing training in best practices. This week, more than 125 colleagues participated once again in our annual Title IX/Sexual Misconduct seminar designed to continue to build our capacity to support all UMBC community members affected by sexual misconduct.

The University encourages those who have observed or experienced sexual misconduct to seek support as needed at any time. There are manyresources available on campus and in the community that offer confidential medical support, confidential psychological/emotional support, and interim protective measures (e.g., no-contact orders, housing options, academic concerns). For emergency situations, contact campus police via 410-455-5555 or local police via 911.

President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous

A listening session about the allegations is set for this Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Fine Arts Building at UMBC. 

Representatives from the UMBC Counseling Center, Women’s Center, and University Health Services will be at the session. For those who cannot attend, or if you want to ask a question or share a comment you can click here to submit a form