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NY Times investigates rape at local colleges

Geneva, N.Y. - The community at Hobart and William Smith Colleges was rocked Sunday morning after The New York Times released an article about a student named "Anna" who was allegedly the victim of rape.

Kaila Fearey is a junior at the college and said she knew the victim through a dance class on campus.

"She was quiet," said Fearey of Anna. "She was shy, she was a good dancer and she was sweet. I didn't know her very well. She didn't have a big outgoing personality at the time, I don't know if this was because of this happening."

According to The Times Anna was raped just weeks into her freshman year in the fall of 2012.

The article listed shortcomings of college officials in handling the investigation and hearing, like misinformation to panelists.

Another junior at William Smith Alex Mack said, "It's hard to hear your school being slandered on a national stage. That's difficult, but I understand that changes need to be made."

The article says the assailants were football players and the incident occured at the fraternity Kappa Sigma, though it is unclear whether they were members.

The young men were cleared by the college after a 12 day investigation, according to The Times.

Senior Alison Burrows said, "They are standup gentlemen. I was kind of shocked because I've just never felt unsafe going to any of the fraternities and hanging out with brothers there."

Anna told The Times she was threatened and bullied after the incident. She even took a break from school for a semester, but she plans on returning this fall.

"I feel that she's very brave to be coming back," said Fearey. "I hope that she is treated with full respect and given support for everything that has happened."

Hobart and William Smith Colleges responded to the article:

"The Colleges disagree with the reporter's interpretation of events and his portrayal of the Colleges, its students and its processes. The Colleges cooperated fully with the newspaper and its reporter. Senior members of the administration met twice with him to fully explain our procedures and corresponded with him on multiple occasions. These responses were largely ignored. The result is a story that unfairly portrays the Colleges and belittles the urgency and seriousness with which we address reported violations of our community standards."

Click here to read more about the colleges' response.

Click here to read the full article in the NY Times

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Washington Times