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UWI male student accused of serial assaults against females

BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS

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A section of The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus

(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — A male student at The University of the West Indies, Mona (UWI) is currently facing possible disciplinary measures for allegedly sexually assaulting several female students on the Irvine Hall dormitories of the campus.

The reports came to the Jamaica Observer last week from at least three secondary sources, including two students who revealed that the victims of the alleged assaults were afraid to come forward because the accused is reportedly still living on the hall after they reported it to the Campus Registrar and campus security.

When the Sunday Observer contacted the university to confirm whether or not the reports were valid, a marketing and communications officer said that the university is treating the reports as a disciplinary matter.

Pressed on the details of the reports, an official from the university said: “As it relates to your request for specific details on the matter, we sincerely apologise, but the UWI Mona is not in a position to discuss publicly, as it may compromise the proceedings. I do hope you understand.”

However, one of the students who asked only to be identified as a resident of Irvine Hall, confirmed that she knew of three victims, two from the region and one Jamaican, one of whom she said returned home because of the traumatic experience.

“The accusations came out during the latter part of February and the beginning of March. Several students were sexually assaulted but I can confirm three. Two regional students and one Jamaican student were sexually assaulted.

“We were hearing about it from that time and the Campus Registrar was notified. The girls were told that he was not supposed to be on hall while the investigation was going on, but he was still on hall and the girls reported it to the police. The police took him in for questioning and he was later released and has been on hall since. One student ended up going back home. The other regional student is afraid and just stays in her dorm, and the Jamaican student I hardly see her around anymore. They just stay in their rooms.”

The student also revealed that she knew from the victims some of the heinous acts that the accused allegedly committed against the female students.

“One girl got bit in the face and choked. Another girl was choked. And the third student, she was put in a compromising position in her dorm room. The students do not want to talk with the media; they just want to move on.”

The student suggested that the university officials appear to be doing nothing about the matter as the accused was recently seen on hall. “I am not seeing where anything is being done on the part of the university. He is still on hall, still walking around, still going to classes.”

The Student Services and Development Manager of Irvine Hall and the Campus Registrar are conducting an investigation.

Meanwhile, assistant commissioner of police (retired) in charge of campus security, Keith “Trinity” Gardner told the Sunday Observer that the student was taken in for questioning and removed from the hall. He also said that his investigations revealed that the accused did assault several female students but that the assaults were not of a sexual nature.

“I can categorically say from my investigatio,n and speaking with the victims, that there was no case of sexual assault. There were reports of alleged assaults committed by one individual against several females.

“From all the witnesses and complainants that I have interviewed, none of them disclosed any sexual assault. They disclosed that they were assaulted but it was not of a sexual nature. Statements have been collected. The complainants went to the Mona police and made reports and asserted that they did not want to proceed against the alleged offender criminally.

“It was left for the director of security of the campus to conduct an intensive investigation into the matter. The investigation was done; statements were collected and they were forwarded to the university’s senior management along with a report.”

Gardner said that he could not reveal the number of female students who were assaulted, or the details of the report.

“I cannot disclose the findings of the report, and It is not true that the offender is on hall. He has since been removed to an all-male hall”, Gardner said.

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