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Police react to NYTimes’ college rape story

Geneva, N.Y. Criticism is continuing to pile on administrators at Hobart and William Smith Colleges following an in-depth New York Times article that critiqued the schools handling of an alleged sexual assault that occurred in 2012.

Some students, like soon-to-be senior Stephanie Cramer, say its not the first time the school has been criticized for how it handles and investigates sexual assault.

I definitely know of cases that have happened and havent been handled in the best of ways, she said. Im not sure the way the [rape investigation] hearings happened are the most effective ways to deal with the issue.

According to the New York Times article, the college spent 12 days investigating the report of rape and made the decision to clear 3 people accused of it.

The article goes on to describe an assault review panel consisting of uninformed panelists who frequently interrupted the alleged victim, and describes some panelists who were unaware of rape-kit exams.

Geneva Police did their own investigation, separate from the college investigation, according to Chief Jeffrey Trickler.

She [the alleged victim] was reluctant to talk about it without her mother present, said Trickler, adding that the victims second attorney contacted him in about one month later. At that time we were advised there would not be a criminal complaint and that the victim would pursue this civilly.

Trickler said regardless, the police continued their investigation, working with the Ontario County District Attorney, the alleged victim, and her attorney.

According to the article, the Ontario County District Attorney said that because so much time had passed since the alleged assault, he had virtually nothing to work with, and therefore closed the case.

We worked tirelessly in our investigation, said Trickler. I believe the victim and her attorney can attest to that.

Trickler declined to comment directly about how the Hobart and William Smith handled the internal investigation on the alleged rape, but when asked about the colleges controversial decision to release the name of the victim in letters to a dozen or so people on campus, he did say thats not something his investigators would ever do.

We do not release information regarding crimes like this, he said. Especially violent crimes, we dont want to re-victimize the victimsits very sensitive information.

13WHAM News reached out to the Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo to comment on this story, but he has not yet responded to those requests.

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Washington Times