Woman Lashes Out at VMI, Claims College Mishandled Her Sexual Assault Report
By Mona Abdi
Lexington, VA - A woman claiming to be a graduate of Virginia Military Institute has taken to YouTube, accusing the college of mishandling her sexual assault report. The former cadet doesn't reveal her name, but claims in the video that the school didn't properly investigate her report. This video came out as the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights concluded its investigation into allegations of sexual discrimination at VMI. In the OCR's report, they identify a number of complaints they say were mishandled. On April 30, VMI reached an agreement with the Office of Civil Rights, after a six-year investigation into allegations of sexual discrimination at VMI. The OCR found the institution, which began admitting women in 1997, had violated a law known as Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination. "We were disappointed that their finding was that we have a hostile environment. We don't think we do. In fact, we think we are one of the safest campuses in the nation" said VMI Director of Communications Stewart Macinnis. Now, a former cadet has released this 13 minute long You Tube video lashing out at the college. "All of this has come out after the government has said you've done something wrong. Why are you still saying that you didn't? ... "I want all you alumni to know, that I've written them and written them and begged for an apology" she says in the video. The woman in the video identifies herself as 'Complainant #2.' In the OCR's report, the female cadet mentioned in Complaint number 2 claimed in 2010 she was sexually assaulted by a VMI administrator. The report shows VMI initially dismissed her case without taking the proper steps to investigate it. "Nobody loved VMI like I did, they could've just pretended to be sorry and I would've taken it" she says in the YouTube video. VMI officials wouldn't comment on her case for privacy reasons, but they say the agreement with the OCR covers these issues. "We are not pleased that somebody is not happy and they think things could've been done differently. However at this point, this matter is over" said Macinnis. VMI says they have come up with a number of new policies to address the OCR's concerns. They say they are in the process of implementing some of those policies.
WSET ABC 13 covers news, sports and weather in the Heart of Virginia: Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke and nearby communities including Amherst, Lexington, Cave Springs, Blacksburg, Martinsville, Farmville, North Shore, Glasgow, Altavista, Gretna, Chatham, Blairs, Bassett, Rocky Mt, Penhook, Moneta and Buena Vista