Seven UConn students expelled for sexual assault last year

A trail that connects UConn's campus with off-campus housing. The trail is commonly referred to as the "Rape Trail" by students

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / CT Mirror file photo

A trail that connects UConn’s campus with off-campus housing. The trail is commonly referred to as the “Rape Trail” by students.

The University of Connecticut last year expelled seven students on charges of sexual assault, it reported Thursday.

The school investigated sexual assault complaints against six other students or staff members,  but either cleared the accused or found there was not enough evidence to warrant disciplinary action.

“In cases when a person was found responsible for sexual assault (i.e., the allegation has been substantiated), the University has acted very definitively to expel them,” said UConn Spokeswoman Stephanie Reitz when releasing the legislatively mandated report.

Amid concern among state legislators in how colleges handle allegations of sexual assault, lawmakers passed a law in 2014 that mandated that every public and private college in the state submit an annual report on the number allegations made and how many students were disciplined.

Crime reported in 2014 to campus officials
Sexual assaults Sexual assault (anonymous report) Stalking Domestic Violence
UConn 85 12 18 28
Yale 42 23 15 13
Quinnipiac 8 Not reported 0 6
Mitchell 4 0 1 0

That report — which is due by Oct. 1 — has been submitted to the legislature by UConn, Yale University and Quinnipiac University. The state’s largest public college system that operates the regional Connecticut State Universities and community colleges has not yet submitted a report. (See below for school-by-school data.)

At UConn, 59 students or employees reported being sexually assaulted last year — a higher number than the 43 allegations the school reported last week to the federal government. That reported only included on-campus incidents. UConn officials reported Thursday that another 26 sexual assaults were reported to them last year, but for offenses that happened in previous years — sometimes in the student’s childhood.

“The fact that people are reporting experiences they had several years ago – and as early as childhood — also indicates to us that they believe they can get the appropriate resources and support they need as a member of our community, even if there was no UConn connection to the incident itself,” said Reitz.

Additionally, the report includes reports and discipline for domestic violence and stalking. One student was expelled and two suspended for domestic violence. One student was suspended for stalking.

The college warned in its report that many of those who came forward did not seek to start a investigation and wished to report anonymously and receive help. In some cases the accused perpetrator was not a student and therefore could not be suspended or expelled from UConn.

The university came under fire two years ago from a group of female students who alleged their complaints of sexual assault were not handled properly. The university later paid $1.3 million to settle the lawsuit filed by those students and made numerous changes to improve how students are treated when they come forward. An accompanying investigation by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights into the students’ accusations ended in February after students withdrew their complaint.

Shortly after the issue drew the attention of state lawmakers, the university disclosed  that it is likely to be fined by the federal government for not properly reporting such complaints from its students in its annual report.

When releasing this years’ crime statistics,  university officials said they have worked to ensure staff and students are aware how to come forward and what must be reported.

(This story will be updated with figures from other colleges as they become available.)

Students disciplined for crime reported in 2014
College Sexual Assault Cases Sexual Assault, Found responsible Stalking cases Stalking, Found responsible Domestic violence Domestic Violence, Found responsible
UConn 13 7 4 3 9 4
Yale 22 14 1 1 0 0
Quinnipiac 4 1 0 0 3 2
Mitchell 4 4 1 1 0 0

Click on a school below to read its report:

Quinnipiac University
The University of Connecticut
Yale University

Mitchell College