Washburn releases statement on February rape incident

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Washburn WU_115686

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The University Relations Department at Washburn University sent out a statement Monday reporting that the Washburn University Police Department has turned over the results of their investigation of the recent rape incident that happened on Wednesday, February 11th in Washburn’s Carole Chapel to the Shawnee County District Attorney for review. The District Attorney is reviewing the evidence and any decision about pursuing prosecution will come from them.

The University Relations Department went on to state that Washburn will simultaneously pursue the administrative investigation provided for in the Equal Educational and Employment Opportunity Policy, as is required by Title IX of the U.S. law.

The Washburn University Police Department worked with the assistance of the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office and the Topeka Police Department to examine all the evidence and interview numerous witnesses and other persons during the investigation.

The suspect was identified and interviewed immediately after the initial reporting of the incident. The university police determined there was no immediate threat to the university community and made an appropriate decision under their policies not to issue a timely notification warning. The university says they did take interim measures to ensure equal access to its education programs and activities and protect the complainant as necessary, pending the final outcome of the investigation.

Dozens of students gathered last week at Carole Chapel to show their support to assault victims and voiced their concerns with safety on the Washburn campus.

“I Want my campus to be safer and that I think they need to make safety on this campus for all a priority and they need to make consent education a priority,” says Monica McDougal a junior at Washburn.

According to a news release, the parties involved were known to each other and it was clear there was no immediate threat to the campus community nor is there any continuing threat.

University officials met to review the policy regarding timely warnings in response to this situation and additional information is being gathered before any policy changes are implemented.  The specific elements being reviewed include the need to:

  • Protect confidentiality of the parties involved.
  • Avoid jeopardizing evidence or the process of gathering evidence.
  • Communicate appropriate information to the campus community.
  • Issue an “all clear” at the appropriate time.

The University says the safety of the students, faculty and staff is always their first priority.

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