As of Wednesday evening, the Montgomery County prosecutor’s office was in the process of deciding whether to approve charges against the suspect in a series of two alleged rape incidents that occurred over move-in weekend.
Two university students, a male and a female, were involved in two connected incidents of alleged rape, according to Randall Groesbeck, a UD police major and the director of administration and security for the Department of Public Safety. Christine Schramm, dean of students, confirmed with Flyer News on Aug. 29 the persons involved in the incidents are students.
At 2:13 a.m., Monday, Aug. 20, UD police received a report of gross sexual imposition alleged to have occurred earlier that morning, around 12:30 a.m., in the Caldwell Apartments. Groesbeck said the incident of gross sexual imposition was reclassified to rape. According to records accessed in the week after the incident, UD police received a report on Tuesday, Aug. 21, of rape alleged to have occurred over the weekend around midnight Saturday, Aug. 18, on the 400 block of Kiefaber Street at a non-university address.
On Friday, Aug. 24, Bruce Burt, chief of UD police and executive director of the Department of Public Safety, said the case had been presented to the prosecutor for review. Burt said the prosecutor’s office requested the police department conduct an additional investigation of the case.
“Every case where we have an allegation of sexual assault, and we have a named suspect, it gets presented to the prosecutor,” Burt said in an interview from his office while sitting alongside Groesbeck. “Who they are, it’s just not even a factor,” Groesbeck added.
A Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office representative told Flyer News the case was not in the prosecutor’s records system as of Thursday, Sept. 6. Then on Tuesday, Sept. 11, the representative, Greg Flannigan, said UD police met with prosecutors on Sept. 6.
On Aug. 29, Schramm said the students were still at the university, and said the victim and the victim’s family had been offered support through counseling services, health center and Campus Ministry. Schramm declined to say whether the student accepted the offer for help. She also said the students would be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities and sports.
“We’re obligated by law to ensure that both these students are receiving fair and equal treatment,” Schramm said.
The involved students are under a no-contact order, according to Schramm. The university’s sexual harassment misconduct resource guide states, “Retaliation against the complainant or any other party involved in the case will not be tolerated. There is to be no contact between the accused student and the complainant while the matter is being investigated or is progressing through the student conduct process. ‘No Contact’ includes but is not limited to physical presence/non verbal intimidation, verbal, written, online social contact, third party contact, and loud verbal statements made in the proximity of the other party.”
Schramm said a third party contact would include friends and friends of friends. Schramm said the order is brought down by Community Standards and Civility and is generally not violated. She said a violation of the order could result in a number of consequences including removal from the property, changes of housing and suspension.
Schramm said the university’s disciplinary process could happen simultaneously alongside the criminal case, and said the two processes could have very different results. In late August, Schramm said the criminal investigation superseded the university’s investigation, at that point.
“The civil case is really based on evidence,” Schramm said. “The university’s code, with anything, is the preponderance of evidence.”
Chris Moorman, William Garbe and Ethan Klosterman contributed reporting.