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Two students expelled for sexual assault in 2014

Yale College expelled two students and suspended two others so far this year after investigators found “sufficient evidence” that they committed sexual assault.

One of the expulsions resulted from a complaint brought by a Yale official after the victim declined to bring a formal complaint.

In addition, a male faculty member “resigned his position and is not eligible for rehire” after the university found that he “made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature and engaged in other inappropriate conduct to several staff members.”

That information comes from the university’s most recent report on complaints of sexual misconduct, covering January through June 2014.

The sixth such semiannual report, it shows a startling jump in the number of sexual-assault complaints: 29, more than double the highest previous number.

“It is impossible to conclude whether this number reflects changes in the prevalence or in the reporting of sexual assault,” writes the report’s author, Stephanie Spangler, a deputy provost and Yale’s chief Title IX coordinator. (There are additional Title IX coordinators for each of Yale’s schools and two for faculty and staff.) Spangler also notes that Yale defines sexual assault as “any kind of nonconsensual sexual contact”—ranging from rape to unwanted touching to nonconsensual acts “during otherwise consensual sexual activity.”

The twice-yearly reports, which contain statistics and descriptive summaries of each complaint and how it was resolved, are Yale’s response to criticism of its handling of sexual misconduct on campus. Last summer’s report drew fire because it noted that several students received reprimands for students engaging in “nonconsensual sex,” which critics characterized as rape. (Yale responded in a statement that “nonconsensual sex” includes “a range of behaviors that fall within the university’s broad definition of sexual misconduct.” They later released a set of hypothetical scenarios to illustrate this range and how different cases might be resolved.)

The latest report documents 64 new complaints of sexual misconduct—including harassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence, as well as sexual assault—and updates on seven complaints that had previously been reported.

Both of the expulsions are reported as part of such updates. Each involved a complaint by a female undergraduate that a male student “engaged in sexual intercourse without her consent.” In one case, the female student filed a formal complaint with the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct. The other victim chose not to pursue a complaint, but a Title IX coordinator brought a complaint to the UWC.

In addition to those updates, the committee received 11 new formal complaints of sexual assault between January and June. In two of those cases, the UWC did not find sufficient evidence to support the allegations. Where it did find sufficient evidence, two students were suspended and one received a reprimand. Six complaints are pending because one or both parties are unavailable.

Of the 29 new sexual assault complaints, undergraduates accounted for 23 of the complainants and 24 of those accused. Many did not end up before the UWC, because the complainant chose either to bring an informal complaint or not to pursue the matter further.


The Yale Alumni Magazine is published by Yale Alumni Publications Inc., an alumni-based nonprofit that is not run by Yale University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration.

Filed under Title IX, sexual misconduct


  • Marge
    Marge, 8:49am August 08 2014 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Just curious, were these sexual assaults, most especially the rapes, reported to the police? Or is it the case that this report only speaks to whatever internal complaints were made to University officials? Yale has its own police department, which is closely tied to the New Haven Police Department, and which itself has powers of arrest. Can't imagine Yale would handle a rape allegation without involving its own police, and by extension, the New Haven police. I do not recall an arrest and prosecution of any Yale undergraduates for rape. What's the real story here? If, as the report suggests, the rape complaints were bureaucratically substantiated from within, and the offenders expelled, why no mention of consequent arrests and prosecutions? Surely the outcome of those prosecutions would validate (or not) the University's own conclusions and actions in these matters.

  • Tom
    Tom, 10:03am August 08 2014 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Like the first commenter, I too am baffled by the fact that universities don't just turn these cases over straight to the police.

    Why does a university need a policy around something that is already against the law? When non-governmental groups start trying to play the role of cop, judge and jury we risk both failing to prosecute those who are guilty and also punishing those who are innocent.

    The only reason a university would decide to create its own internal justice system is to either be lenient on those who commit sexual assault or punish those accused where evidence is insufficient.

    If a business or religious group were treating sexual assault in such a cavalier manner instead of going to the police we would rightfully be up in arms, as so many were when the Catholic Church handled the sexual assault of children internally rather than going to the authorities.

  • Mark Branch
    Mark Branch, 10:07am August 08 2014 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Marge, the report itself may partially answer your questions:

    "The descriptive summaries of complaints are organized in tables below according to the office or committee that reviewed and addressed the complaints, i.e., the University-wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct (UWC), the Title IX Coordinators, the Yale Police Department (YPD), and Human Resources.

    "Although a complaint may be brought to multiple venues, each complaint is described only once in this report, based on where the majority of the actions taken occurred. The UWC, Title IX Coordinators, YPD, and Human Resources routinely collaborate and coordinate their activities to ensure that complaints are resolved promptly and equitably. All reports of sexual misconduct brought to the YPD, for example, are reviewed by the University Title IX Coordinator; similarly, all reports of possible criminal activity brought to the Title IX Coordinators (including those reported via the UWC) are shared with the YPD."

  • josh bachman
    josh bachman, 1:23pm August 08 2014 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    What is striking here is that this number of incidents reflects the culture and lack of federally mandated services and response Yale has allowed for the last three decades. Not one Yale leader has been held accountable for the egregious violations of Title IX civil rights. AMAZING!

    It's time to convene a grand jury.

  • JP
    JP, 7:04pm August 28 2014 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    On the theme of accountability, does anyone know what came of the Department of Education / OCR's 'monitoring' period that came out of the June 2012 voluntary resolution agreement with Yale? In 2012, it was said to continue through 2014. An update from YDN or OCR would be timely.

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