Extinct scholar who reported rape says college betrayed her

The warnings got right here in textual insist messages from her friends: He’s open air the dorm. He’s at the student middle. He’s at Starbucks.

But for Alicia Gonzales, every on occasion it did no longer topic the build he was. She would customarily veil away in her room on the campus of Marshall College, overcome with inconvenience that she’d bustle into him — or be subjected to his ridicule — even after reporting that he raped her on college grounds, and even after he was convicted of battery. Months later, she left the college altogether.

“At any time after I saw him, it was spoiled for me,” she told The Linked Press on Friday. “It was nearly like I was in that identical solutions-space, reliving the assault itself and how afraid I was. I appropriate felt like I was helpless.”

The Linked Press does no longer on the entire establish sexual assault victims, nevertheless Gonzales has chosen to be identified.

Marshall has expelled 22-yr-faded Joseph Wander Hardin amid recent rape accusations interesting two additional females and renewed scrutiny of the West Virginia college’s handling of Gonzales’ February 2016 case. The expulsion caps a lengthy disciplinary process within the midst of which Hardin was allowed to be on campus, in step with Gonzales’ ongoing federal lawsuit in opposition to the college.

A spokeswoman for the college talked about it followed explain law and federal laws in its handling of Gonzales’ case, together with that it “took every appropriate form measure available to it to give protection to the rights of all parties within the midst of the formulation.”

In saying Hardin’s expulsion, College President Jerome A. Gilbert launched an announcement saying, “The security of our school students is our first duty.”

Hardin was indicted and jailed closing week on 2nd-stage sexual assault prices linked to two alleged rapes in 2018. A think ordered Hardin to stay jailed Wednesday at a court listening to for violating probation from the earlier case. He was led into the court in an orange jumpsuit and dangle was his face away from TV knowledge cameras educated on him from the gallery.

His authorized professional, Kerry A. Nessel, talked about his client maintains his innocence.

“He denies the entirety,” Nessel talked about. “To me, it be appropriate a he talked about/she talked about inconvenience.”

Gonzales described a pattern of harassment by Hardin and his friends after the alleged rape. She talked about they mocked her on social media and as soon as waited for her open air her on-campus job and sneered as she emerged. Hardin even wore one in every of her headbands at a basketball sport to taunt her, she talked about.

“I felt totally betrayed by the college and I felt like I had fully no protection within the midst of it,” she talked about.

Gonzales talked about the attack happened at some stage in a college day in a dormitory room on campus. When she first reported the attack, the college expelled Hardin, nevertheless he was able to stay on campus within the midst of an enchantment process, in step with Gonzales’ swimsuit. The college did no longer enforce restrictions to prevent her from encountering Hardin, it added.

Marshall then assembled a scholar conduct panel, earlier than which she was aggressively infamous-examined by Hardin’s personal attorneys, the swimsuit says. She had no authorized professional reward. After the panel cleared Hardin, he winked at her and threw his fist into the air in celebration, Gonzales talked about.

Faculty directors then reviewed the listening to process and suspended Hardin from campus grounds except his prison case was resolved. He unsuccessfully appealed that decision nevertheless was allowed to come relief after he entered what’s called a Kennedy plea to a battery price and was given three years’ probation after having in the initiating been charged with sexual assault.

In a Kennedy plea, which is similar to what’s called an Alford plea in other states, a defendant maintains his or her innocence nevertheless acknowledges there would possibly possibly be proof that would possibly perchance perchance furthermore lead a think or jury to attain a guilty verdict. Court bureaucracy says that upon coming into the plea, he was judged guilty.

The entire process took a couple of yr.

The more recent prices of sexual assault in opposition to Hardin involve alleged rapes of two females closing yr within the county the build Marshall College is positioned, in step with an indictment. Marshall spokeswoman Leah Payne talked about the more most as much as date prices did no longer happen on campus and did no longer involve the college’s police department.

Gonzales, 22, now attends a college in Pennsylvania, the build she experiences psychology. She talked about she hopes to become a victims advocate after graduation. She was relieved to listen to Hardin was expelled.

“That makes me in actual fact feel like at the least some a part of the community is now protected,” she talked about.

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