Stanford University processes fail victims of sexual assault, students say

University's mishandling allowed alleged serial perpetrator to 'act with impunity'

Editor's note: All of the students' names in this story have been changed at their requests to protect their privacy.

This story contains 8075 words.

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Editor's note: This story originally stated Stanford University would be rolling out a new, pilot Title IX process later this month, as a spokesperson earlier told the Weekly. The university announced on the day of publication of this story that the process would officially begin on a pilot basis on Feb. 1, 2016. The revised process also includes a provision of up to nine hours of free legal assistance for students involved, rather than the previously stated six.


39 people like this
Posted by Concerned Citizen
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 22, 2016 at 6:30 am

This is very VERY concerning... One of two things must be true: (1) One or more of these women is telling the truth or (2) none of them are.

Either way, this outcome is HORRIBLE. (1) If these allegations are true, there seems to be ample evidence to take Smith to court, and put him in jail where he belongs. (2) If not, then Stanford's 'kangaroo courts' carried out a great injustice.

(By the way, I believe it's about 10,000x more likely that these allegations are true)

38 people like this
Posted by Alphonso
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jan 22, 2016 at 9:48 am

Alphonso is a registered user.

Where is the discussion about Police and DA investigations and what were the conclusions of those investigations? Sexual Assault on college campuses is the number one priority of local law enforcement - so what happened in these cases?

40 people like this
Posted by Barb
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm

My daughter is a graduate of Stanford in 2011. Being in the community meant that we saw her frequent like and occasionally on weekends. During her the living in the dorms, which were partially coed some years she said there was no enforcement of alcohol controls in the dorms by the RA's. Young men were often in her dorm intoxicated and approaching girls in their dorms after hours. In some of the on campus housing for upperclassman bongs for hash, cannibis, and open bottle of liquor were often in the common areas on weekdays when we would drop items off to her on campus.
As a parent I repeatedly expressed my concern, disbelief about what I saw in her housing situations to the admin of the dorms.
Due to privacy issues they would not notify me if or my daughter if any remedial action was taken. This was also occurring in dorms that had students under age 21.
My daughter was frequently almost molested by drunk frat guys who would wander into their housing after their parties.....her own roommate left campus partway through her soph term due to substance abuse concerns on campus that she herself could not get adequate recourse from campus official who basically swept all complaints under the carpet.,,,,as they did my daughters
Emails and my complaints! This sexually promiscuous environment where rape and molestation regularly occurs cannot be curtailed unless there is a huge educational program that is required to complete in reading, group work, passing on line tests, as well as accountability for all incoming students, and it is enforced in principal for all campus dorm employed and associated Stanford Admin. We are in the process of filing formal letters of complaint,,,,,and only deeply regret that our daughter has such terrible memories of the on campus housing there and the student, admin culture with regard to these issues....would really like to get the 200k back, as her mental health has suffered greatly since attending. My other daughter and Sons had an entirely more positive campus housing experience due to proactive university courses required of all students and re enforced each year of their education by school admin.....wiphile we did not choose the other kids schools based on spiritual values.....each of those other schools did have a faith based program and thus a social climate for faculty and students which integrated personal integrity, positive core values, and a strong alcohol control policy at all campus events and housing. Enough said!

21 people like this
Posted by caitlin
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm

Stanford's casual passive consent to a serial rapist is not unique of even rare on "elite" campuses. These incubators for the good ol' boys' clubbers are hostile warzones for talented females. Women who survive and manage even to thrive e.g. Sandra Day O'Connor are incredibly strong in the face of male "entitlements".
Stanford is a disgraceful example of conservativism at its worst. Despite the delusion that Stanford is a liberal environment it is quite the opposite. Remember it is the seat of the Hoover "Think Tank" which is THE #1 source of the currently popular neo-fascism so prevalent nowadays.

10 people like this
Posted by CoachFromAnotherTown
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 22, 2016 at 1:57 pm

CoachFromAnotherTown is a registered user.

After reading that War and Peace article and others who posted before me, I can't add anything other than most of the time I am embarrassed for my own gender. What are these males thinking. The fact that they feel power from sexual assault vs love/sex has been known for ever. Really guys - you wish to enter somebody's body without her craving you? You wish to impose your will upon a young co-ed without consent "just because" you say so or she's drunk or you can overpower her? Wow, I'm embarrassed to be a man.

21 people like this
Posted by Chance
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

I agree -- the actions of this man are beyond the pale of what can be accomplished through the "usual campus bureaucracy" and should have been brought to the attention of the city police immediately. He deserves jail time for what he did. It seems that students view their college campus as a separate city by itself with its own exclusive rules and laws, when the outside city or county authorities should have been involved and brought charges. The young man sounds like a serial psychopath/sociopath and he will undoubtedly go on to commit more of these crimes.

Like this comment
Posted by Harold A. Maio
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 22, 2016 at 4:53 pm

---to dispel the stigma associated with sexual assault

My god, you are still making that association?!!!

27 people like this
Posted by standfordwhy
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 22, 2016 at 7:10 pm

Sad that nothing is being done. The student must come from wealthy parents and Standford did nothing. Sad that the police and DA is not involved. Money talks. No justice was served. Thanks standford! I wished I never went to your school, I am so ashamed, I thought you were better than the rest.

23 people like this
Posted by Involve-the-Police-Before-Title-IX
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 22, 2016 at 8:33 pm

> No justice was served.

Without due process, and a full airing of the events in a court of law—then justice is never served.

14 people like this
Posted by Privileged and entitled?
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2016 at 11:14 am

Despite the brave victims that have come forward in the cases at Stanford, I wonder how much the privileged/entitled backgrounds of the perpetrator(s) are impacting whether or not fair investigations will be conducted.

7 people like this
Posted by Alice
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Jan 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Allegations do not equal convictions. These women can say what they wish, and so can Mr. Smith. Complaining to Title IX and the OCR is the easy way out. Easy because with Title IX there are no due process rights and the standards are quite low to prove the accuser's allegation. Federal Funds are being with held if colleges do not find men guilty. Get informed and read how Title IX became a bully on campuses. Web Link
Lord have mercy on these men at the hands of campus feminists. The men need to be protected from these activists female students wanting to be 'a part of something.'

14 people like this
Posted by @Alice
a resident of Mountain View
on Jan 25, 2016 at 2:33 pm

When you put out a link from the Minding the Campus website, you only show that your biases cloud your judgement.

And I'm sorry, but "Allegations do not equal convictions"? If this were one case, maybe. Four cases?

Stop defending the indefensible.

13 people like this
Posted by JU
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2016 at 6:13 pm

"Allegations do not equal convictions"
By that logic, Bill Cosby is also innocent.
Lesson learned. Call the police, don't rely on any school's judicial process.

32 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2016 at 6:27 pm

It is entirely possible that Stanford tries to keep the problem " in the family" , so to speak and strongly discourages victims from going to outside law enforcement, such as PAPD. It is even possible that if the victim does so, she is harshly admonished.

I know that something similar happened to me about 12 years ago, in a workplace. My employer was FURIOUS about the Sheriff's Office squad cars and ambulance showing up. I knew nothing would be done if I kept the problem " in house" and only reported it to my superiors. So after first reporting the incident to them. I called the local police, who referred me to the Sheriff's Office, because I had been attacked and threatened with death in an unincorporated area of the county.

Due to the fact that I did this, and was tested and photographed, etc, my attacker was arrested and arraigned. Of course he got immediately because he was able to post bail, but I had no problem getting a permanent restraining order ( which he violated and was jailed WITHOUT bail). Had I not gone to the proper authorities and channels, I would not have been able to get the protection I did.

In addition, the perp was stopped from victimizing anyone else! He is still in prison at this time.

14 people like this
Posted by OPar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm

"Smith" sounds like a sociopath--probably honed in on women who didn't feel they had the right to stand up for themselves and felt easily shamed.

Sorry, a girl with a split-lip moves matters far away from a he said/she said too much alcohol sort of situation. That's assault; it's a felony and if Smith weren't a coddled member of the elite, he'd be in prison.

Where he belongs.

10 people like this
Posted by pamom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 28, 2016 at 4:11 pm

I'll bet that the perp is from a very wealthy or high status family. Stanford has become like a fat Wall Street firm: protecting and expanding itself is its only real objective. If the perp were of modest means and background, you can be sure things would have gone very differently! And you can bet that the victims were of lesser, poorer status. STANFORD's unofficial motto - No Juice, No Justice!
Thank you, brave 4 women, for telling your stories. The more women can come forward the sooner justice will prevail for all of us.

12 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jan 28, 2016 at 4:28 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Why were these alleged attacks not dealt with by the police and the criminal justice system?

It is a huge mistake to allow any private institution to take on the roles of law enforcement, judge and jury.

4 people like this
Posted by MaggyMay
a resident of another community
on Jun 15, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Dear God........What kind of school is this? Why would anyone want to attend this college? Is this so tolerated that women are afraid to report men like this Smith character? He goes about his life, maybe still doing what he did to these women and they are still being treated like dirt. Shame on you Stanford or any other college that allows & ignores these rapes just because they are rich frat boys. I will make sure that my children never attend a place like Stanford.

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