Results in Two Arrests
by Chris Anton
Around 2 a.m. last Saturday, a student was allegedly sexually assaulted
in a campus dorm. A special alert issued by the Safety and Security
office the following day declared that it was perpetrated by
two individuals, one of whom was an acquaintance of the survivor.
Since that time, two Oberlin College students have been arrested,
charged and arraigned. First year Bosko Tomasevic of South Hall and
junior Djordje Eremic of Langston Hall appeared in Oberlin Municipal
Court Wednesday and were remanded to custody under a $50,000 bond.
A preliminary hearing for the two has been set for October 10 at 3
p.m. in Oberlin Municipal Court.
Pending city judicial proceedings and the concurrent college investigation,
Dean of Students Peter Goldsmith suspended both students.
The Dean of Students and the President are empowered to temporarily
suspend students prior to any judicial hearing if it is determined
that their continuing presence on campus could compromise the safety
of others, Goldsmith said when asked if it was standard procedure
to suspend students following an arrest.
While the adjudication of specific cases proceeds, many questions
of treatment and prevention are being raised by members of the community.
We need much more understanding among students. Specifically,
consent needs to be defined and education on what it means to be consensual
needs to happen. We have a good policy, it could always be improved,
but it more speaks to what happens after the fact. We need to educate
before it happens, College President Nancy Dye said.
This event marks the fourth sexual offense reported at Oberlin in
2001, and the third this month. In a typical year, only two or three
sexual assaults are reported to the Office of Safety and Security.
At this time the school years first reported sexual assault,
allegedly occurring on Saturday Sept.15, remains under investigation,
with no suspects yet charged.
Its hard to say if the growing number of incidents is
a question of more incidents or more people coming forward. That explanation
would imply a greater comfortabilty with the schools resources,
Though specific details of the investigation are unavailable due to
the confidential nature of the charges, an incident report obtained
from the Oberlin Police Department notes that the police were contacted
by a representative from the Nord Center in reference to a female
who was undergoing a sexual assault exam. At the time of the police
report, the victim was refusing to offer any information or
cooperate with any police investigation.
Its protocol to contact the police whenever a survivor
comes to the unit seeking support following an attack, Clare
Cygan, Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Program at the Nord Center
said. She emphasized that the role of the Rape Crisis Unit is to support
decisions made by the survivor. Because of the nature of the
violation, we constantly seek the consent of the survivor at each
step in the process...when we give an exam...or release evidence,
incidents of sexual assault are never formally reported.
The Nord Facility offers an alternative to the traditional medical
attention given following sexual assaults. In the past, assault
victims would simply visit an emergency room where they would undergo
a pelvic exam. Because rape is not always vaginal, the Nord Center
utilizes an Ohio State standardized rape kit to collect evidence
things like clothing, photos, debris from underneath fingernails,
and swabs or hair clippings. Such exams can even be given as late
as 72 to 96 hours after the assault.
Though it is unclear whether or not alcohol played a role in the
alleged attack, the increased occurrence of such incidents has in
part brought additional scrutiny to the Colleges alcohol policy.
It has also brought attention to students lack of familiarity
with the colleges sexual offense policy.
We need to continue our efforts to acquaint all members of
our community with...the Colleges Sexual Offense Policy, as
well as with ways in which we are responsible for one anothers
safety, Goldsmith said in the latest bulletin.