Monday, October 22, 2012

A Growing Spotlight

Chief John Horvath, on the job less than a month, standing in the hot seat

A grim faced line of state officials -- including Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, UMPD Chief John Horvath and District Attorney Dave Sullivan -- entered the conference room at UMPD headquarters about 20 minutes late for the 1:00 PM news conference, if indeed a 1:00 PM event was ever officially acknowledged as actually happening.

 Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy "with a heavy heart" addresses the crowd  

But obviously enough media got wind of it as two or three dozen reporters, photographers and videographers were present for the presentation.  The Chief would not discuss specifics of the gruesome case --whether alcohol was involved, who signed in the perpetrators at the dorm, how well the victim knew them, etc.

 Print, radio, TV, and web based journalists.  And it's only the begining

But he did confirm the arrest of four males, none of them UMass students, for the most heinous crime of gang rape, although nobody dared used that term.  And he praised the swift joint investigation of UMPD and State police, while DA Sullivan promised justice would be meted out.
 District Attorney Dave Sullivan

And while the Chief did acknowledge UMass reported 13 sexual assaults last year and 12 the year before, he did say firmly: "This doesn't happen on the UMass campus," referring of course to gang rape.

It did, however, (allegedly) happen.  And it's going to be a very long time before anyone forgets that.

Enku Gelaye UMASS Dean of Students

UMass official statement regarding the alleged gang rape. (update 12/6/14:  Apparently UMass doesn't want to be reminded, as they have purged the press release)

The (Springfield) Republican reports


Anonymous said...

here's the email that just went out from the Chancellor to the campus community:

Dear Campus Community,

I write to you today with a heavy heart as I inform you of an act of violence against one of our own students which took place on our campus.

Four men from Pittsfield have been arrested for the rape of an 18-year-old UMass Amherst student. The attack is alleged to have occurred in the student’s residence hall in the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. The alleged perpetrators are known to the victim and are not UMass Amherst students.

Upon notification of the crime, UMass Amherst Police Chief John Horvath and his department began an immediate investigation and determined that the general campus community was not in danger. The Pittsfield men were arrested by a team made up of members of the UMass Amherst Police, Pittsfield Police and the Massachusetts State Police Detectives Unit assigned to the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office.

Maintaining a safe learning and living community is of the upmost importance to our campus. We will not tolerate this violent behavior and I can assure you that the UMass Amherst Police Department is working with the district attorney to ensure that the perpetrators in this case are brought to justice.

The victim and her family are receiving support from our campus resources. I know that I speak on behalf of our university community when I say that they are all in our thoughts during this difficult time.

While campus security measures have generally proved effective in the past, the university will conduct a comprehensive review of security in our residence halls. We must all work together to protect and ensure the safety of everyone on our campus.

For anyone who might need support following this incident, the Center for Women and Community provides free and confidential crisis services for the entire campus. They can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 413-545-0800.


Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy

Anonymous said...

If convicted, I hope these four fucking hang. Larry, since memory often runs short around here, if you could keep track of the progress of this case and the legal proceedings, it would be much appreciated.

An IRATE Dr. Ed said...

THOSE F**KING MORONS!!! With just eight words, they told all her friends and family exactly who she is.

The alleged perpetrators are known to the victim and are not UMass Amherst students. Charged with rape are Emmanuel Bile, 18, Justin King, 18, Adam Licciardi, 18, and Caleb Womack, 17."

Elsewhere they say they are all from Pittsfield.

How exactly would a UM student know four boys from Pittsfield who aren't UM students? And how many young ladies from the Pittsfield High School Graduating class of 2012 are attending UMass this fall? More than a dozen?

Narrows it down damn fast as to who she is, doesn't it? And if these were guys from her hometown, which it almost inevitably was, and with all of the young adults in Pittsfield probably knowing each other -- at least those of the Class of 2012 -- and with the names of the four perps, and knowing who they hung out with in high school, it is very easy for them to figure out exactly who she is.

She really doesn't care if Larry Kelly knows her name or that she was gang raped -- it is the people in her hometown that she doesn't want to know. And if UM hadn't made the point that the victim knew them, she would have had plausable denialability.

She could have gone hone for the thanksgiving football game and when her friends and relatives mentioned hearing about the four classmates arrested for rape, she could have neglected to mention that it happened to her, that it had happened to some random girl on campus. Now she can't.

Unless a UM student knows four freshmen-aged men from the same relatively-small town in some way other than being from there herself, UMass has brilliantly told absolutely everyone she cares about that she was gang raped.

Good job folks...

(Larry, remember the three things I said I would suggest if a female UM student I cared about told me she had just been raped and was both asking my advice and trusting me to look after her best interests. Not the best interests of UMass, which are not always the same thing.)

This is not the first time I have seen UMass put its own interests above (and at the expense of) the best interests of a student.

Dr. Ed said...

One other thing - when you create an environment where the lambs are outside the wire, where the wolves are, bad things will happen.

The politicized purgatorial UMass Dorms are places where the students are corralled and caged en masse - essentially everyone is "outside the wire."

The days of the older adult dormitory administrator whom you could call on for help are long gone. Most of us remember "Head Residents" or "Resident Directors" or whatnot with doors we could knock on and home phones which we could call if we needed to -- those days are LONG gone.

UMass "professional staff" (RD/ARD) live in unmarked apartments, have unlisted phones, and strictly work 9-5 weekdays.

And as to the UMPD? When even I wouldn't call them for assistance, do you really expect a scared 18 year old to? Jack Luippold knew this - and that is why he always relied on a MSP tactical team for riot control instead of his own officers. But things have changed, the attitude now is one of "us v. them" (on both sides) and then....

Anonymous said...

"The alleged perpetrators are known to the victim and are not UMass Amherst students. Charged with rape are Emmanuel Bile, 18, Justin King, 18, Adam Licciardi, 18, and Caleb Womack, 17."

Caleb Womack:
Adam Licciardi:
Justin King:

Dr. Ed said...

Looking at the facebook pages, all I can say is what a trio of truly upstanding young men we have there...

I have worked with undergrads -- conservative undergrads -- for many years and have never seen anything quite like those three pages. Exactly whom are they trying to impress?

And the drugs -- it does put yet another possible spin on this, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

One of the Facebook links goes to a married man in Louisiana, with no obvious Western Ma. ties on the page. Is this the correct person, or perhaps the perps page has been taken down? RM

Larry Kelley said...

Did you copy and paste correctly?

They all seem to work for me just now and look the right perps.

Anonymous said...

The Licciardi link does not look anything like the photo on Masslive:

Anonymous said...

Ed, you are an idiot. Stop jumping to conclusions. It says they were known to her. It does not say how well. It could be guys she met at a concert or party. It could be guys that came to visit someone else on her floor. It does not mean she is from Pittsfield! The reason Umass said they are known to her is to signify that she was aware of who they were and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Larry, why do you keep publishing Ed's ridiculous rants. They never add anything to the discussion and make your blog seem ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with the victim and her family.

May she recover physically and emotionally from this horror.

Larry Kelley said...


Dr. Ed said...

It could be guys she met at a concert or party. It could be guys that came to visit someone else on her floor.

It could be little green men as well.

Call me cynical but I have seen way too much and they got into her room somehow and I stand by what I suspect.

The reason Umass said they are known to her is to signify that she was aware of who they were and nothing else.

Bulls**t! The reason UMass said that was so that all the parents of all the other girls on campus didn't freak out. If she was raped by perps whom she knew, then their daughters are safe because the rapists aren't attacking strangers.

UMass is more concerned about itself than anything else. And I do fear for the future of the victim with the ACT Nazis monitoring her every move....

Dr. Ed said...

What none of these kids understand -- what a lot of COPS don't understand -- is that there are copies of every text message you send, and that someone with the proper legal paperwork can get them.

*IF* she actually sent out a text message saying she wouldn't prosecute if they all gave her $500, that is going to make things really, really messy -- and this isn't going to be a he said/she said issue -- there is going to be a copy of exactly what was sent if something was.

Anonymous said...

How come you post about this and not about the girl who was raped at Amherst College whose story has just come out? AC refused to prosecute the rapist, but all you care about is your problems with UMASS.

Larry Kelley said...

The way Biddy Martin handled that (once she found out) is a model of transparency every institution -- including UMass -- should follow.

Dr. Ed said...

AC refused to prosecute the rapist,

I don't believe that AC could have -- perhaps someone would clarify this but my understanding is that unlike the UMPD which has "primary law enforcement authority" over the campus, it is the Town of Amherst Police who have that authority at Amherst College.

Remember too that UMass is a state entity, while AC is private.

AC could have kicked the perp out, AC could have "dropped a dime" to the APD like any other citizen could, but I believe that it would be the APD that would have had to prosecute it -- that Amherst College Security couldn't have.

Perhaps someone might clarify?

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, is that *really* Enku Gelaye?

She looks like she has aged 10-15 years since last spring. Without the caption, I would have sworn it was someone else...

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, it is.

I was using the iPhone for her shot as I was live tweeting the event and did not stop to use my better camera for all the speakers.

she did look a bit tired and tense -- as did they all.

Anonymous said...

Enku looked younger (in the photo on Larry's blog)at last week's community meeting!

Dr. Ed said...

No, Larry, I would say "way, way, way in over her head."

She actually has to act like a Dean now. The games she has played in the past won't work here, she has to actually *fix* a mess...

Anonymous said...

the way AC handled it was a model of transparency?!?!?! Are you kidding me? They told the victim to get over it and that it wasn't worth kicking the rapist out of school because he was about to graduate.

Yes Dr. Ed it isn't AC's responsibility to prosecute but they absolutely should have kicked him out of school and reported it to the police.

Larry Kelley said...

I specifically said the way Biddy Martin handled it once she found about it by reading the student newspaper .

Dr. Ed said...

Part 1 of 2
They told the victim to get over it and that it wasn't worth kicking the rapist out of school because he was about to graduate.

Technically, I once said pretty much the same thing to a victim, and these situations are often a lot more complicated than people realize.

I make no pretense of being politically correct, and I deal with individual people qua individuals. Forget "seeing the trees but missing the forest", I see the broken twigs and torn leaf stems -- I see people as unique individuals.

We also are talking about someone's life here, not a wrecked automobile, and "boilerplate" doesn't work. In theory, I think every victim should prosecute and every rapist belongs behind bars -- but in practice, well....

In this case, memory is that it was a woman living in my residence hall - and who had asked my opinion. She explicitly asked and when someone ask my opinion, they get it.

I asked her what it was that she wanted to accomplish and what it was she was willing to pay to get it. Then I asked her to "be selfish" for a second and to think only of herself -- what did she personally want, and how much of an emotional and psychological price was she willing to pay to get it.

I made it clear that I was fully behind her, and that I would support her decision, but that I had no right to make it for her.

I couldn't give the details even if I remembered them but if she did nothing the perp would be completely out of both the school and area inside a week or so, (he may already have been gone) and she realistically had zero chance of ever seeing him again, even after she graduated. And even less chance of ever voluntarily associating with him ever again.

He also was popular with a lot of her friends, and while I was careful not to say it, I think she knew how she would be perceived as the person who "put him in jail" - regardless of how much he deserved to be there, she would pay a social cost in what was a very small social network.

Life is not fair. It wasn't fair that she was raped in the first place, either.

Beyond the "is anything broken" medical stuff -- which memory is that I made a few phone calls with her insurance folk to work out the approvals -- I said that she had multiple variants of two basic options:

1: Prosecute the SOB
2: Don't and put this behind her

Dr. Ed said...

Part 2

If she prosecuted, through the school, through the courts, no matter how sensitive everyone was, she would have to recount (and essentially relive) what happened. She would be dragging the perp back out there, he or his attorney would be able to question her, and it would not be pretty.

Memory is that he was kicked out of school for something else anyway, and also flunked out, so any additional judicial finding wouldn't make a difference to him (this was before FERPA got changed so she wouldn't even know what the nasty letter sent to him even said). He might go to jail, which might make her feel better, but it also might not.

On the other hand, she could say nothing -- I wasn't going to without her permission -- and I would respect her decision. I made no secret of the fact that I was going to lean on her big time to get some medical person to check her out physically, but even that was her decision because it was her body.

She decided not to report it. I personally think she made the right decision -- for her. A different woman, even in identical circumstances, might have gone the other way and that would have been the right decision for that woman.

I know I will draw the ire of every feminist in the valley for the above, but I ask one thing -- what right do I have to tell her what she must do with her body? The fact she was raped was perhaps one of the most intimate and personal pieces of information she ever would have, what right do I have to tell her she must reveal it?

Her trust had been violated by this perp. I argue that by enabling her to absolutely trust me -- and I do mean absolutely -- I did more for her than putting that perp in jail ever could.

I know you aren't supposed to promise to absolutely not reveal stuff a student tells you, and I know why, but I don't agree with that. She needed to "own" her own life at that point.

"[AC should have] reported it to the police"

Absolutely NOT!!!

The victim and the victim alone "owns" that information and she is the only one who has the right to decide that the cops find out about it. AC may report it on her behalf if she wants them to do it for her and has freely and explicitly given them permission to do so, but otherwise -- no.

Two reasons. First, whose body is it? Whose life is it? Who but her should have the right to decide that she is going to have to discuss this really traumatic thing with cops, court, and so forth?

Second, from a student affairs perspective, if she isn't absolutely convinced that you aren't going to tell anyone else, even if you are almost absolutely certain that she has been raped, she will deny it.

Not only is she not going to tell you, but when you figure it out on your own, she will deny it -- and then what? She's even more isolated and alone in her trauma.

I would rather be able to offer her what I can, even at the price of being constrained from doing a lot of things, than not be able to help her at all. I feel the same way about suicide, and it is why I have no intention of ever following the mandated reporting protocol.

I know my position is not popular with either the student affairs or mental health professions, but John Locke said that we own our own "lives, liberty and property" and what part of my forcing someone else to do something that I think is good for her isn't a violation of her "liberty"?

Whose body is it?