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UNC Rape Victim Expelled for Speaking Out?

By Andrew Lu on February 27, 2013 1:01 PM

An alleged victim of sexual assault at the University of North Carolina (UNC) could face expulsion for speaking out about the crime.

Landen Gambill, a sophomore at UNC, reported being raped by a student last year. She claims that her alleged attacker is still on campus, and she has spoken out about the assault and the school's handling of her case.

As a result, the student says she is now charged with violating the school's honor code and creating a hostile environment for her attacker and could face expulsion, reports Yahoo!

Gambill as well as several others at the school including the school’s former assistant dean of students claim that UNC pressured the dean to underreport sex offense cases. Gambill has rallied against the school giving her case short-shrift and has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, reports Yahoo!

The school fired back by threatening to kick Gambill out of school. According to an email sent by the school’s graduate attorney general to Gambill, Gambill was charged with violating the school’s Honor Code by engaging in disruptive or intimidating behavior of another. The other person was not identified, but surely the school cannot mean the alleged perpetrator of the rape?

Generally, for a crime like sexual assault, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel will pursue criminal charges against the suspect. Schools and other organizations can have their own policies and procedures for how they handle the criminal suspect. For example, the school can take action like expelling the criminal defendant, suspending him, or simply taking no action.

The UNC case is making headlines nationwide as it appears that the alleged rapist is walking free on campus. In fact, if the facts alleged by Gambill are correct, the school is in effect protecting the suspected rapist by taking disciplinary action against his accuser.

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