H-SC responds to alleged 16-year old sexual assault

Published 11:56 am Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hampden-Sydney College has responded to an alleged sexual assault that reportedly occurred in 1997.

“Hampden-Sydney College is limited in its ability to discuss the specifics of particular sexual assault cases or the 1997 incident described; however, the college treats all reports of sexual assault with the utmost care and attention,” said college spokesman Tommy Shomo. “All such reports trigger an investigation and appropriate responsive action.”

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Shomo said that the college has not had a notification of a Clery Act complaint filed against H-SC. The act is a federal statute that details requirements of crime reporting by college campuses.

Shomo said that the college has worked with the complainant “and her attorney to provide them with the records they have recently requested, while respecting the laws governing the disclosure of those records. The college’s policy was to preserve documents for at least three years longer than the seven years required by law,” Shomo said. “However, because sixteen years had passed between the incident and the complainant’s request, many of these types of records, if they had existed, would no longer be in the college’s files.”

Shomo said H-SC conducted a thorough review and search for the records “and has provided the complainant with all of the requested information and records in its possession. The complainant or her attorney are encouraged to contact the college if they have any remaining questions or concerns regarding her record requests.”

Shomo said that ensuring the safety of students and visitors is a top priority of the college.

“Hampden-Sydney College has implemented and continues to improve a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to addressing sexual assault. Its policies are being developed in consultation with outside consultants, Title IX due process experts and advisors with years of experience in victim’s rights advocacy,” he said. “The college recognizes and is committed to proactively [addressing] the serious national issue of sexual assault on campus,” Shomo said.