University | 1:16 am | February 23, 2014 | By Wesley Yiin and Marek Ramilo

Yale police report two allegations of sexual assault

The Yale community received three emails this week reporting two separate complaints of sexual assault that allegedly both took place on the night of Feb. 8 at the same off-campus location.

Yale Police Department Chief Ronnell Higgins first reported the two statements in separate emails to the University community on Feb. 19 and Feb. 21. The messages named the location of the alleged assaults as the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house, and the second email corrected the first by reporting that they were both said to take place on Feb. 8.

“I write to let [the University community] know that the Yale Police received an anonymous report today that a second Yale student was the victim of a sexual assault by an acquaintance, who is also a Yale student,” Higgins said in the Feb. 21 email.

When reached, Higgins and Associate Vice President of Administration Janet Lindner were unable to comment.

Andrew Goble ’15, president of the Yale Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter, provided the following statement on Feb. 22:

“The members of Yale’s SigEp chapter were shocked and saddened to hear allegations that sexual assault may have occurred in our facility on an evening when the chapter had leased event space to another campus organization. On February 8th, the chapter leased a room of the facility to another Yale student organization for the purposes of hosting a private event open to guests of that organization. At this time, SigEp does not believe that the allegations are against members of their chapter and are working with the Yale administration to assist in their investigation.”

University Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Provost Stephanie Spangler followed up with a Feb. 21 email to the University community explaining that Higgins’ emails and the details they contained were sent under the regulations of the Federal Clery Act and that her office is actively investigating these claims.

Spangler could not be reached for comment on Feb. 22.

Enacted in 1990, the Clery Act is a federal law mandating that campus police departments alert students, faculty and staff within 24 hours of any on-campus incident involving the Clery-reportable crimes, which include forcible and nonforcible sex offenses.

The Clery Act does not mandate reporting every incident that takes place near a college campus, but not on an official university property. As a result, a university’s administrators and police chiefs must determine whether or not to release timely warning messages on such crimes.

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