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October 30, 2013 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-30

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6B Wednesday, October 30,0

people, and knowing that that's going to
be the scrutiny that they're going to be put
Oftentimes, juries aren't educated on
the intricacies of a sexual assault crime,
according to Washtenaw County prosecut-
ing attorney Brian Mackie. In court cases,
prosecutors find it difficult to show the
jury that delayed reporting and a lack of
physical evidence are typical in cases.
"The worst thing jurors can say, some-
times they really want to talk to you after
(a trial), it's usually after a not guilty, they
just can't wait to talk. And first thing out of
their mouth is, 'We all agreed that he did
it.' Ok? ... but (the verdict was) not guilty
because they wanted more," Mackie said.
Surprisingly, Liddell and Mackie both
say that female jurors are more criti-
cal towards survivors, arguing that they
would have acted differently to avoid the
incident - a form of survivor blaming.
"It's pretty scary. It's a defense mecha-
nism," Mackie said. "If you admit that this
happened to this person who's in front of
you, that means it could happen to you.
And we all like to think of ourselves as, not
invincible, but, 'I just wouldn't be in that
situation.' When you talk to victims, you
get similar statements from them, 'It was a
nightmare. It seemed like this couldn't be
happening,' but it was."
Pillsbury also stressed that if a sur-
vivor doesn't wish to go forward with a
case passed along to the prosecutor, their
request is usually respected by the pros-
ecutor's office - not because the case isn't
serious, but out of respect to the survivor's
APPwishes and wellbeing.
So why report'to the police if it's pos-
sible the case can't be pursued? For one,
making a report can help identify repeat
offenders, a phenomenon that both Pills-
bury and University Police spokeswoman
Diane Brown have experienced in their
careers. Reports can be linked, and sur-
vivors will be re-approached and notified
that another survivor has come forward,
which can distribute the burden of going
forward with an investigation.
"Frequently, people who commit this
crime commit it over and over again over
the course of their lifetime until they're
held accountable," Pillsbury said.
Pillsbury added a survivor could gain
strength just from police validation that
what they experienced was a crime, even
if the police can't hold the alleged perpe-
trator accountable. To be believed by the
system, Pillsbury said, is powerful.
Liddell, Mackie, Brown and Pillsbury
all said that it's up to a survivor whether
reporting or not reporting to the police
is the best way for them to heal. But it
becomes complex since law enforcement
wants to see alleged perpetrators held
"That's the struggle. You don't want to
be one more person saying, 'This is what
you have to do. Here are your options, here
are your choices,' " Liddell said. "You want
a' to give them as much power as possible to

help them reclaim what was taken from
them. But, you counter that with want-
ing to see justice done and wanting to see
someone held accountable and respon-
The Washtenaw County prosecutor's
office deals with 90 to 126 criminal sexual
conduct charges per year, but the major-
ity of cases involve child survivors. In her
three years as an assistant prosecutor, Lid-
dell has not had a single case involving a
University student.
S.B. has not made a report with the
police. Four months after she was raped,
she filed a complaint with the University,
a process that brought about its own emo-
tional difficulties and deterred her from
reporting to the police.
"I definitely thought about (reporting
to the police), and I actually thought about

instances of sexual misconduct they learn
about through non-confidential sources.
Previously, when S.B. filed her complaint,
investigations had to be driven forward by
the complainant, putting more responsi-
bility on the survivor.
Per the new policy, SAPAC, the Univer-
sity's Counseling and Psychological Ser-
vices and the Office of the Ombuds are the
only confidential sources for survivors.
Any reports shared with other University
officials, includingresidence hall advisors,
should be passed along to the University's
Title IX coordinator for investigation.
If the complaint constitutes a crime, the
Title IX coordinator is obligated to inform
law enforcement.
The police, however, cannot proceed
with a criminal investigation without a
report from the survivor unless the case

"If you admit that this happened to this
person who's in front of you, that means it
could happen to you. And we all like to think of
ourselves as, not invincible, but, 'I just wouldn't
be in that situation.' When you talk to victims,
you get similar statements from them, 'It was
a nightmare. It seemed like this couldn't be
happening,' but it was."
- Brian Mackie, Washtenaw County
prosecuting attorney

dealt with all violations of the statement
at the time. Now, the University's Office
of Institutional Equity investigates sexual
misconduct violations.
S.B. said OSCR asked if she wanted to
go forward with "Formal Conflict Reso-
lution" - a hearing - or "Adaptable Con-
flict Resolution," which involved more of
a negotiation setting. For S.B., there was
nothing to negotiate.
"I was so conflicted, I didn't know what
to do and they would relay back to me, 'You
know, the assailant wants to sit down with
you and apologize,' and that was really
hard for me to hear," S.B. said. "I want-
ed to hear an apology but then I thought
about it and ... that doesn't repair the dam-
age and that can't come anywhere close to
repairing the damage."
Under the new policy, informal resolu-
tion is still an option for resolving some
sexual misconduct cases, but the policy
now specifies "never in sexual assault
cases." The investigations now primarily
consist of private interviews and written
statements - not hearings where the two
parties face each other.
Six months after the incident, a hear-
ing took place, which S.B. described as a
draining 12-hour process. An objective
individual who worked for the Univer-
sity heard the case. The respondent and
S.B. were in the same room, and she said
they were able to ask each other questions
through an OSCR moderator. S.B. brought
her SAPAC advocate, and the respondent
brought an advocate, too.
"I just felt like he was drilling me, drill-
ing me asking me all of these questions,
like, asking me to relay in super intense
detail exactly what happened," S.B. said.
Through the moderator, the perpetrator
asked S.B. to describe what she wore at the
time of the assault, a question that espe-
cially upset her, she said, since her attire is
irrelevant to his actions.
OSCR ruled the respondent in violation
of the University's statement. While the
University agreed he was guilty of sexual
misconduct, what still shook S.B. was what
happened at the end of her hearing, her
voice becoming noticeably frustrated as
she spoke about it.
She was approached by OSCR and
pressed to say what sanctions she felt were
appropriate. The respondent was still in
the room reacting to the verdict, an upset-
ting sight for S.B. Overcome with emotion
as she watched the perpetrator react, she
spoke opposite of how she really felt.
"I didn't have time to think about it, I
panicked ... So at the time I was just like,
'Don't take him off of the study abroad
trip.' Which was the dumbest thing I could
have ever said, but I didn't know what to
say," S.B. said.
She later learned that she wasn't obli-
gated to comment after the hearing.
The sanctions stemming from the hear-
ing further upset S.B. While the University
ruled that the respondent was in violation
of the statement, he was still able to go on
Continued on Page 7B

Confidential support
Sexual Assault'Prevention & Awareness Center
Michigan Union, Room G509
24-Hour Crisis Line: 734.936.3333
Speak with an advocate online: theAdvocate@umich.edu
To make an appointment:734.764.7771
Counseling and Psychological Services
Michigan Union,,Room 3100
Counselor-on-duty: 734.764.8312.
24-Hours U-M Psychiatric Emergency 734.996.4747
Office of the Ombuds
6015 FlemingAdmin. Building
SafeHouse Center
4100 Clark Road, Ann Arbor
24-hour HelpLine: 734.995.5444

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
National Sexual Assault Hotline
Other support
University Dean of Students Office
3000 Michigan Union
File a police report
University of Michigan Police Department
Emergency: 911
Non-emergency: 734.763.1131 or text 377911
Anonymous tip line: 800.863.1355
Ann Arbor Police Department
Non-emergency: 734.994.2911
Tip-line: 734.794.6939

sexual assault resource guide
Disclaimer: The lead story of The Statement on pages 4B-7B contains detailed information about sexual assault.
Content may be emotionally upsetting or triggering to some people. Please read with caution.
No one should cope with sexual assault alone. Use the resources
below to find support, report an incident or collect evidence:


pressing charges against the University,
because I did not think the way that they
handled the (complaint) was just at all,"
S.B. said. "But after the (University) hear-
ing and everything, I just didn't want to
deal with it anymore ... It's even popped
into my head now, like, what would have
happened if I had pressed charges? But I
think it would have just been too emotion-
ally draining."
Separate from a criminal investigation,
the University also has an internal policy
to review possible violations of the State-
ment of Student Rights and Responsibili-
ties, which prohibits sexual misconduct. If
a student is found in violation of the state-
ment, non-criminal sanctions range from a
formal reprimand to expulsion.
S.B.'s complaint was reported at a time
when the University addressed violations
of sexual misconduct differently than
today. In the current policy - which went
into effect August 2013 - the University
itself is now required to investigate all

involves domestic violence, according to
UMPD Officer Pillsbury.
At the University, if a student does not
wish to be involved with the internal
investigation, the Title IX coordinator and
a panel of University members decide if
the investigation should continue.
But S.B.'s case occurred before the new
policy, meaning she had the responsibil-
ity of pushing her complaint forward for
internal review. She chose to drive the
case forward for a specific reason: the
alleged perpetrator was signed up to go
on the same study abroad trip as her that
"I didn't want him to be on my study
abroad trip because I didn't feel comfort-
able and I didn't feel safe," S.B. said. "I
didn't think that it would allow me time
to heal and give me the space that I need-
ed, and I didn't want to have to sacrifice
a study abroad trip because of something
that he had done and that was his respon-
S.B. submitted a complaint to the Uni-
versity's Office of Student Conflict Reso-
lution, the branch of the University that

The Brit Jamie Dornan was officially named
as the new Christian Grey in the upcoming
cinematic version of the bestseller "Fifty
Shades of Grey."1His-Ehare-hestThe film, is
scheduled for release next August.

On Monday, Penn State
reached a $59.7-million
settlement with the
survivors sexually
assaulted by former
football coach Jerry
Sandusky, according to
the Los Angeles Times.
26 male victims are
involved in the settlement
and the university still
has six other claims to
AP PHOTO/Matt Rourke address.




Ciara and Kim Kardashian are two new
members after their separate engagements
over the past week. Kardashian's to Kanye
West took place in San Francisco and Ciara's
to producer Future six days later. Both
happened on the ladies' birthdays. Twinners!


This week, ABC
Television and Univision
joined forces in a 50-50
venture to create
Fusion, a new English-
speaking channel aimed
at young Latinos. The
channel was launched
on a limitedbasis, in
only in about 20 million
homes, according to The
Los Angeles Times.


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