University News

U. mishandled sexual assault case, victim says

Alleged perpretrator received one-year suspension, will join victim on campus in fall

By
Metro Editor

The summer after her first semester as a transfer student, Lena Sclove ’15.5 was strangled and raped by another Brown student, she said at a press conference Tuesday. Within two weeks, Sclove reported the incident to the Office of Student Life. 

Eight months later, following three months of hearings, a disciplinary decision and subsequent appeals processes, University administrators are permitting the student Sclove identifies as her rapist to return to campus this fall. He received a one-year suspension.

On Tuesday, students, community members and Sclove’s family and friends gathered outside the Van Wickle Gates as she publicly revealed the details of her alleged rape and the University’s disciplinary decision on the case.

“This campus has come to mean a lot of things to me. And it’s become a really scary place,” Sclove said, addressing a crowd of more than 50 students, some holding signs that read “I stand in support of Lena” and “Maybe in the next 250 years Brown will realize rape is a crime, not a college prank.”

In the hours following Sclove’s press conference, Margaret Klawunn, interim dean of the College and vice president for campus life and student services, sent out a campus-wide email announcing that the University’s sexual assault policy would be a focus of discussion at today’s Brown University Community Council meeting.

“Brown University takes issues of sexual assault and sexual misconduct with the utmost seriousness,” wrote Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, in an email to The Herald.

Senior Associate Dean for Student Life Allen Ward declined to comment, directing The Herald to Quinn. Klawunn did not respond to Herald inquiries.

 

From August to December 

Daniel Kopin ’16 “was a former friend of mine, and we had hooked up a couple times,” Sclove said, adding that they “decided we wouldn’t do it again.”

Sclove spent last summer — the summer following her first semester at Brown after transferring from Tufts University — in Providence. On Aug. 2, she attended a party, where she met up with their group of friends.

After the party, Sclove was allegedly “strangled twice and raped” by Kopin, who was a junior at the time, she said. “I said no over seven times. I never said yes.”

Following the incident, Sclove filed reports with the OSL and, months later, the Providence Police Department.

“I knew what had happened. I knew it was wrong, and I had been counseled that I should go report, and that this process would bring me justice and would be part of my healing process,” she said.

Kopin did not return multiple requests for comment Tuesday night.

Though Sclove reported the incident to OSL within two weeks, a University hearing was set for Oct. 11, more than two months after the alleged rape. During that time, Sclove said, she was constantly worried about Kopin’s presence on campus, unable to forget that he was “still living in that dorm — right over there.”

“I had to see him in the campus center, in the library, in the dining hall,” she said.

The Student Conduct Board, a group of students, deans and faculty members charged with holding and reviewing University disciplinary hearings, found Kopin was in violation of four items in the Student Conduct Code: (2a) “Actions that result in or can be reasonably expected to result in physical harm to a person or persons,” (5a) “Illegal possession or use of drugs and/or alcohol and/or drug paraphernalia,” (3a) “Sexual misconduct that involves non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature” and (3b) “Sexual misconduct that includes one or more of the following: penetration, violent physical force or injury.”

Following the board’s analysis, the case was referred to Ward, who made the final disciplinary decision, Sclove said. Kopin was suspended from the University for one year. He is set to return in fall 2014.

Sclove immediately appealed the University’s decision with a letter explaining her extreme unease with Kopin’s scheduled return.

“I still had two years left to finish my degree and was not going to be safe with those sanctions,” she said.

Kopin made no appeal to the decision, Sclove said.

In her appeal, Sclove wrote that the Student Conduct Board that had heard the testimony for the case recommended a two-year suspension, but Ward finalized a suspension of one year.

Klawunn did not grant Sclove’s appeal, writing in a letter to her, “The Board determines the findings of responsibility but does not determine the sanction,” and in her case, “the precedent of similar cases needed consideration.”

But Klawunn also wrote that “given the nature of the combined offenses in this case, Dean Ward, in addition to considering a period of separation, should have considered imposing a probationary period.” In response to Sclove’s appeal, Klawunn instituted the probationary status, amending the original decision. She also noted that a “No Contact Order” would remain in place should both Sclove and her alleged perpetrator be enrolled at Brown together at any point in the future.

During the appeals process, Kopin remained on campus, leaving Brown just before Thanksgiving, Sclove said. Despite his presence on campus for the majority of the fall semester, Kopin did not receive academic credit due to his suspended status.

As a result of the assault, Sclove said, she suffered a cervical spine injury and was forced to take a medical leave of absence this semester.

“I lost my one semester of freedom, and my next opportunity to come back as a student to matriculate here at Brown is the same semester that the rapist is allowed to come back and matriculate here at Brown,” she said.

 

Disciplinary decisions

“In cases where a crime may have been committed, the reporting student is counseled about criminal justice options and may be encouraged to file a criminal complaint,” Quinn wrote to The Herald. “Whether or not such a complaint is filed, the student receives substantial support from deans, counselors or advocates.”

The disciplinary hearing process took an “incredible amount of time and energy,” Sclove said. But with her parents’ financial and moral support, she was able to take a reduced course load in the fall to “maintain some semblance of sanity” throughout the process, she added.

“I was really sort of encouraged that reporting to the University is much safer than going to the police and pursuing a criminal case,” Sclove said. “I was not treated terribly during the hearing, but at the same time, I was not kept safe.”

When she was notified that she needed to pick up the charge letter for the case — a document both she and her perpetrator were required to obtain in accordance with University policy — she found herself in the same building as Kopin and his father, who were picking up the letter in a room nearby.

“I thought I was just going to pick up a piece of paper, so I went by myself,” she told The Herald. “There was no sensitivity to my state of trauma, to my state of shock or to the potential thought that he could be guilty.”

Sclove said she was not notified when her alleged perpetrator was asked to leave campus and found out that he had left Brown after another week of “living in fear.”

The assault itself followed by the administration’s decision-making process felt like a “double rape,” said Richard Sclove, Lena’s father, at the Tuesday press conference. “It’s hard for me to localize my rage.”

“We understand the trauma of sexual assault and while we are working to ensure we have a good and fair process, it does not always yield a completely satisfying outcome for someone who has been victimized,” Quinn wrote.

“We are and will continue to work with students to develop the best possible process for managing sexual assaults on our campus,” she added.

“The process has to be reviewed and revamped,” said Mitchell Garabedian, Sclove’s attorney, told The Herald. “The sanction, which allows for the perpetrator to be attending Brown University while the victim is attending Brown University, is in essence harmful to the victim and sends a message by the University that they are throwing sensitivity and understanding of sexual harassment or assault out the window.”

 

Culture of disbelief

Though many of her friends and other Brown students had previously spoken out against sexual assault, Sclove said it is easy to “stand against an issue until it’s your best friend who’s accused of it.”

The denial she experienced on campus “speaks to a culture of disbelief,” Sclove told The Herald. “There are students on this campus who hate me for doing this.”

While some of Kopin and Sclove’s mutual friends testified against her allegations of rape, another Brown student submitted a letter to the University describing her own alleged assault by Kopin.

“The University has on file a letter that this person has assaulted another woman on this campus but does not acknowledge it in their decision-making process because the rapist objected to it being included,” Sclove said. Kopin’s objection was in line with University policy on reviewing sexual assault cases, which stipulates that new cases cannot be utilized as supplemental information to ongoing analysis.

During Tuesday’s press conference, Richard Sclove pointed to a study co-authored by Paul Miller, a Boston-based psychologist and former postdoctoral fellow at Alpert Medical School, which found that 90 percent of rapes are committed by repeat rapists, and rapists who also choked victims are at a higher risk of repeat offenses.

Victims can be seen as “vindictive” or “doing it for attention,” but “this is about safety,” said Emma Hall ’16, who is a survivor of sexual assault on campus and underwent a hearing process similar to Sclove’s.

“You can’t have a good education unless the person feels safe, and (Lena) doesn’t feel safe at all,” Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, Inc., a nonprofit that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, told The Herald. “We want this person expelled from this campus, permanently.”

“Unfortunately, (this case is) typical of college campuses across the country where individuals being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted are then re-victimized by the process, wherein the process is not effective,” Garabedian said.

In preparation for the University’s review of the Code of Student Conduct and its disciplinary processes in the fall of 2014, “this spring we have been meeting with and listening to student concerns” surrounding “guidelines, policies and sanctioning standards for sexual misconduct hearings,” Klawunn wrote in her email to the University community yesterday.

 

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the alleged rape happened at a party. In fact, it happened after the party. The article also previously misstated that Sclove immediately filed a report with the Providence Police Department. In fact, she did so months later. The article also previously referenced the incident in some instances as a rape, rather than an alleged rape. The Herald regrets the errors.

  • Da Maan

    These deans lie. They do not take rape seriously. They take nothing seriously. They are too stupid and bad to know otherwise. We should get rid of them.

  • Brown ’14

    This is super brave on Lena’s part! Could someone involved in the protest comment on ways to get involved. In regards to the OSL, certain members of the OSL are incredibly kind and helpful while I can think of 1 or 2 who are strangely cold and ignorant. I also don’t know how I feel about the efficacy of University no contact orders.

  • Andrew Brown ’15

    Thank you for sharing your story, Lena.

  • Terdy Brown

    Wait so there’s a guy on campus who’s raped not one, but TWO girls including Lena and he’s still here? And he choked her too? that is horrible. sounds like something out of a horror movie.

    Brown has such a bad track record with rape cases that its policy should be to simply push them over to the police, and punish or not punish the accused according to the legal verdict. They are clearly not equipped to handle cases like rape- maybe the council/deans are equipped to handle lesser offenses of drug possession or brawling fratstars, but rape is 1. more violent and serious than most crimes committed on a college campus 2. something that is still confusing under law for people who have actually been to law school and understand the nuances of rape cases. One of the hardest case types for courts. Just look at the Duke Lax scandal.

    On the subject, Brown’s Adam Lack case in the 90s also brings up why it would probably be best colleges if weren’t involved in rape cases until after the case has gone to a criminal court. He was accused of what were fairly clearly bogus rape charges. There was pretty literally no evidence against him. Girl later admitted she was too drunk to remember anything. The case was essential tried/his punishment changed multiple times by councils and deans (what happened to no double jeopardy?), and the liberal hippies on campus managed to make the case huge. While he was allowed to come back and graduate in the end, this is also an unacceptable way to handle a rape case- accusing someone of rape and punishing them for it is a BIG DEAL. To say the least, I would argue that rapists face significantly more stigma than those accused of drugs or theft (and, if they really did rape someone, maybe they should have that stigma). Brown’s handling of the Lack case ostracized him from the Brown community, and from what I understand he never recovered psychologically from the damage.

    Clearly, Brown can’t handle these cases- and from what I understand, many colleges have the same problem. There needs to be a much more systematic process, ideally one that would involve Brown making its decisions and punishments off of a court’s decision- if the rapist is guilty, expel. If the rapist is not guilty, that should be good enough for Brown, and the accused student need not be ostracized from the community. It really should not be more complicated than that. If there’s a lack of evidence DONT punish someone! If there is enough evidence to convict, THEN you can do something.

    • Kit

      It would be a violation of federal law if Brown did not have an internal judicial process to deal with sexual misconduct claims. Do your research next time.

      • Alum

        So the law is the problem? Clearly Universities are ill-equipped and motivated to deal with these cases adequately.

        Where are the police in all this anyway?

        • vicious little whack-a-mole

          i’ve heard, but only through social media, that she’s filed a suit but his lawyer (hired by his rich parents!) keeps getting extensions to trial. can anyone confirm this?

          • Alum

            So the solution would be a better legal advocate for students? Perhaps that’s where Universities could be more effective in helping, rather than asking them to become police depts and assume legal liabilities.

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            this sounds completely reasonable to me, but i’m def not an expert on any of this.

          • Alum

            Universities won’t if it is against their interests, as we are seeing in case after case. I liked the student advocates program that was explored a while back. That would be a better situation as students are responsible to other students rather than the administration.

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            can you describe/link to something about that program?

          • goo

            Agreed- Kit’s idea sounds good in practice, but there is no way to guarantee that Brown, or other the universities, would always act appropriately given their track records.

          • goo

            Agreed- you have hit the nail on the head! If Lena had been encouraged to go to the police soon enough after her attack, they could have done a proper medical examination, tried the attacker, and made a decision based on actual evidence as opposed to ‘it’s my word against his’

          • Kit

            No one is asking universities to assume legal liabilities. Are you under the impression that Brown is currently doling out prison sentences to people found responsible for sexual misconduct on campus? We are wholly in agreement that depriving a person of their liberty under the law is not within Brown’s jurisdiction and shouldn’t be. But determining who is allowed to be a Brown student IS within their jurisdiction, and should be.

          • Alum

            Brown has had a bad track record in suspending or expelling the falsely accused. A university assumes liability when they make such decisions.

            These cases are all different (some are clearer than others), and whenever judgement needs to be made, the University is at risk. It’s not surprise it is ill-equipped to adequately respond.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/william-mccormick-iii
            http://www.browndailyherald.com/2004/09/22/he-said-she-cant-remember-the-adam-lack-case/
            http://students.brown.edu/ACLU/ILack.html

          • Kit

            What kind of liability are they assuming? I don’t mean to be dense; I agree that poorly thought-out policies and procedures can result in injustice for student survivors as well as students who are falsely accused (though the latter is far less common), but I am still a bit lost as to what kind of liability you’re suggesting. Do you mean that the person who is wrongfully expelled might sue the university? Under what cause of action?

          • goo

            Yes and that has happened before- Will McCormick and Adam Lack both sued Brown b/c of their charges for rape, for which they were punished, that never would have even gone to court. Brown is liable for psychological damage if it totally botches the case to the point where it causes extreme psychological distress to the victim, whether it hurts the accused or the alleged victim.

            Even if they settle out of court, I would imagine that it would be less time consuming and maybe a bit safer for Brown to have serious cases (i.e. rape, unprovoked aggravated assault, and MURDER!) tried in a court with people who are actually trained to evaluate legal info, and then discipline or not discipline the accused at Brown based on the legal findings.

          • Kit

            But the problem is that they face even more legal liability if they do away with an internal judicial process altogether, because they’ll be slapped with sanctions from the OCR for violating Title IX which requires there be an internal judicial process available. So there’s legal liability when you totally botch your judicial process that you have in place, and there’s legal liability when you throw it out the window altogether. The solution? Develop better policies, procedures, and practices so that you can do right by all of your students, allow them an opportunity to be heard, and ensure a safe campus for everyone.

      • save the sea turtles

        I’m pretty sure that Terdy Brown was saying that Brown should have an internal judicial process, just that it should be based off of and follow a criminal court decision. Makes sense. Students can’t be expected to handle all of the university court stuff and outside legal stuff- if you listen to lenas video one of the things lena says is how time consuming the Brown process is. Might make sense to do a legal case (so that they do DNA evidence and stuff and have someone who knows their sh*t when it comes to rape stuff), make a decision through due process of the law so that the trial isn’t forever, and then give brown something to go off of so it can do its own disciplinary stuff.

        What pisses me off is that if lena had been choked and raped in some random place that wasn’t brown and the cops dealt with it, this kid would be in jail.

        • Kit

          You seem “pretty sure” of something that is demonstrably untrue from his post:

          “it would probably be best colleges if weren’t involved in rape cases until after the case has gone to a criminal court.”

          “There needs to be a much more systematic process, ideally one that would involve Brown making its decisions and punishments off of a court’s decision- if the rapist is guilty, expel. If the rapist is not guilty, that should be good enough for Brown, and the accused student need not be ostracized from the community.”

          Many victims/survivors choose not to go to the police. That is absolutely their prerogative. But rape is both a crime under state law AND a violation of Brown’s code of conduct. (It could also fall under several civil causes of action, but that’s a bit of a tangent.) So what if a survivor chooses not to go to the police? Should they have no options for justice within their private college community? Should every school do away with their private codes of conduct and only punish people who have been punished under the law?

          I agree that the vast majority of colleges and universities are unequipped to deal with sexual misconduct today. But that’s because they have failed to produce cogent policies and procedures that ensure justice for both parties and aspire to maintain safe campuses. In short, it’s because they simply would rather not have to deal with this stuff and sweep it under the rug as quickly as possible. The solution is to improve their processes, which many schools have done after coming under fire for the many violations of Title IX and the Clery Act inherent in their existing policies/procedures/practices. They need to improve those things, not do away with them altogether. And I cannot believe that an intellectually honest person actually thinks that “calling the police” is some magic panacea in situations like this. A prosecutor won’t even bring charges unless the survivor is willing to testify on the stand (which entails being cross-examined), and to move forward with a criminal rape case makes survivors vulnerable to having their identities made public, not to mention the months of repeated questioning they have to endure. Most people don’t want to have to go through with that just to have safe access to an education, and luckily they don’t have to under the provisions of Title IX.

          On top of all that, the criminal standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt” (and rightfully so, since a person’s liberty is at stake rather than simply their student status at a private university), while alternative options such as a college judicial process or a civil trial use the lower preponderance of the evidence standard. That means that the exact same evidence can result in justice for a survivor in a college judicial hearing or civil setting even if it might not result in justice in a criminal setting. There are all kinds of remedies that our society provides people seeking relief for harm done to them–getting a perpetrator off campus is one, money is another, sending the perp to prison is yet another. We should not think of justice solely in terms of sending rapists to prison under state law, particularly when colleges and universities hold their students to much higher standards of conduct than criminal law does already (for instance, plagiarism is not a crime, nor is flunking a class, but you can bet your ass Brown cares if a student does one of those things).

          Furthermore, after filing a police report, a victim of a crime can expect the case to go to trial about a year later. Would you suggest Brown just look the other way for over a year until criminal rape cases are finally adjudicated before making any decisions? There have to be internal processes, and a private university should hold itself to higher standards than “All welcome except convicted felons!”

    • vicious little whack-a-mole

      can you or someone else who knows a lot about this write, like, an FAQ for the skeptical? here’s some of the stuff i’m thinking of:

      Q: if brown really believes he’s guilty, why did they only give him a year?
      A: (stuff you said about the adam lack case), but IMO it’s not so much about how they screwed him over, it’s about how they got sued like crazy for it and their lawyers probably told them not to risk something like that happening again. it’s all about $$$ right? (plenty of other stuff we can say here, much of it brought up in this thread; stuff about the school looking bad and graduation rates and so on.)

      Q: but if brown has enough evidence to decide he’s guilty, this is clearly very different from the adam lack case!
      A: yeah but our legal system is sooo broken. lack was almost certainly not guilty, but who knows if kopin would be convicted in the court of law, even though the evidence is compelling enough for brown to be totally justified in expelling him. supposed kopin is found not guilty in court. if he filed a suit against brown, it could actually look a lot like the adam lack case, depending on what sort of evidence brown is allowed to bring in…

      Q: speaking of the justice system, why did she go to brown instead of the police?
      A: (from the article) she was told the process would be safer. also, this kind of suit takes forever, and she wanted to be safe as soon as possible.
      also: [tentative, unconfirmed] i’ve heard that there’s a criminal case ongoing and that his rich parents hired a fancy lawyer to keep putting it off. this is just a rumor though; i can’t find anything about it from a reputable source.

      Q: how can the administrators sleep at night knowing that they’re letting someone whom they have determined to be a perpetrator of VIOLENT RAPE remain on brown’s campus at the same time as his victim?
      A: i have no idea.

      • ’14

        It is highly irresponsible to spread rumors with loaded buzzwords like “rich parents” and a “fancy lawyer.” If this is unconfirmed speculation, and you do not have proper knowledge of the situation, sharing it here does nothing productive for anyone.

        • vicious little whack-a-mole

          …um, that’s why i so carefully and thoroughly clarified that it was a rumor. i think it’s perfectly relevant information.

        • goo

          think you commented on the wrong post…OP doesn’t even use those phrases ha

          • ’14

            This was in response to a comment using these phrases that has since rightfully been deleted.

    • JK

      “Wait so there’s a guy on campus who’s raped not one, but TWO girls including Lena and he’s still here?” You could not be more irresponsible. No one was convicted of a crime here. And the allegation that a second woman was raped is based on Ms. Sclove saying there was a statement from another student about a sexual assault. You have absolutely no idea if there even was a statement, whether the statement alleges rape, or if it is true.

      • Terdy Brown

        Given the statements from Lena AND her father, in addition to needing to take a leave of absence for spinal cord injuries from the assault and the tendency of rapists who choke in particular their victims to be serial rapists, make Lena’s story credible (thats all in the video-watch if you haven’t). More than any other college rape story I’ve heard.

        I have serious problems with the Adam Lack/Will McCormick cases since those were ambiguous, but this one is solid. The ‘rapist’, she suggests, did not deny the allegations- why wouldn’t he, if he were innocent?

        • JK

          He emphatically DID deny the allegations. That is one of many misleading and false things that Ms. Sclove said.

        • funny sense of justice

          “but this one is solid.”

          I assume you base that statement on your extensive review of physical evidence, witness statements, and your presence at hearings/trials?

          Because otherwise you’re just another person on the internet who knows 0% of the necessary information to reach such a conclusion.

      • Terdy Brown

        I get the feeling you know the accused, and feel that some of the information that the community is being fed is untrue. If I’m right, I’m sure I speak for many when I say we would like to hear his side of the story. In fact, there are many posts here asking for Daniel to say what he thinks happened.

        I strongly support a stricter process that would use some type of legal proceeding on which to base its decision- in case you can’t tell :)

        • Bradley

          You have literally no reason to think this story is untrue other than that you don’t want it to be true. Your *suspicion* represents nothing more than hostility toward the concept of accountability for rapists.

          • Terdy Brown

            Uhhh see my comment below. Not true. I think rapists need to be held accountable and that there needs to be some kind of legal process for University rape cases- case goes to court, verdict comes out, and if guilty, the rapist faces the full punishment.

            That being said, to make the types of distinctions that we have been trying to make in the comments to this article, we need to hear from the accused what his side is. Would you ever hear one side of a case in a court of law? I don’t think so. If we are going to judge Daniel K as a community, he deserves to say his side of the story (even though I think the charges sound very credible given Lena’s neck injuries and other specifics)

          • AnnaB

            “You have literally no reason to think this story is untrue other than that you don’t want it to be true”

            what a disturbing comment, Bradley. So we are supposed to believe every story we are told and not ask questions? That’s not the way Brown kids think. Terdy brown (that name…lolz) is right, seems to say if anything we need stricter process that is legal- if he were guilty in court, he would be in jail, not just suspended.

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            knowing nothing about the evidence, why is it unreasonable to believe that brown (which did know the evidence) made the right judgment on the conviction?

            btw, we don’t even know if the kid claimed to be innocent.

          • Terdy Brown

            Because Brown has a history of botching sexual assault cases- and Lena doesn’t say that she provided DNA/physical evidence. I agree that her case seems highly credible, but she would need more to go off than a neck issue that occurred months later to stand in court- although I personally believe her, it always does seem a bit odd to me that one wouldn’t go to the police in the following hours or days after the rape and then be so vocal about its occurrence.

            I would like to know what the kid claimed happened (you’re right- maybe he confessed or something and she didn’t say that)- it would be good to know, as we are all commenting and judging here.

            I like debating you, vicious little whack- thank you!

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            i’ve enjoyed talking to you too! i am pretty sure you and Justice G are the same person and this confuses me, but we cool dawg. we certainly have different levels of skepticism and different standards of propriety, but i don’t doubt that you’re committed to fairness, whereas some people get all riled up about cases like this because they basically just don’t trust women. -___-

            if you aren’t Justice G and you haven’t already read it, check out my post here. i was hesitant to bring it up at first because i’m trying to shield my identity here, but i think that telling my own suspension(ish) story helps put this case into perspective.

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            here’s an article i just saw on fb about why a victim (even a well-informed one) might choose not to go to the police: http://feministing.com/2014/04/11/stop-telling-survivors-they-must-report-to-the-police :)

          • istandwithlena

            “it always does seem a bit odd to me that one wouldn’t go to the police in the following hours or days after the rape and then be so vocal about its occurrence.”

            have you been raped?PTSD is a serious thing that can prevent you from getting out of bed. also she probably didn’t do a rape kit right away, which makes going to the police a moot cause. (there’s many testimonials out there about poor police reaction)

            lastly, why would she go to lengths of making this up? false-positives when it comes to rape accusations are very low.

          • TaxiOnna

            She didn’t have a neck injury – it was a cervical spinal injury. As in the cervix.

          • Really?

            are you just stupid?

          • Alum ’09

            Just in case this wasn’t a really bad joke: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cervical_vertebrae

          • Guest

            Point of clarification, “cervical” here refers to the cervical vertebrae, which are, in fact, the vertebrae inferior to the skull and superior to the clavicles. This is generally considered by many people to be the “neck” area.

          • Virginia

            Haha! The cervical spine is at the neck then below that is the thoracic spine, then the lumbar spine (lower back.) She is claiming the strangulation damaged her spine at the neck! You could’ve done a search online before revealing such ignorance.

          • jk

            He emphatically did deny the charges.

  • Ben Heller ’13

    Props to you Lena on your bravery. Don’t know you, but wish I did. This isn’t an easy conversation to have, and it’s not easy to challenge an institution on this level. Brown has too often made crimes like rape (and issues like mental health as well) into “distractions” that can just be brushed under the table. You, and all students, have a RIGHT, not a privilege, to feel safe and supported on the campus that we all (students, families, alums, etc) pay to support. Brown needs a real reality check, and you’re giving it one. Got your back.

    • Thanks

      Thanks ben, good to know your stance on this

    • Alyssa B

      I saw the video of Lena’s”press conference”, and I dont think she is brave at all. Rather, I see a young woman who is delighted to be in the limelight and have her day of fame, with no awareness of the consequences of labelling a sexual encounter gone sour as “rape”. Having gotten more than enough attention, she is now unable to pull herself out of the story she has crafted. I think rush to judgement is inappropriate given that no one ouside a small inner circle knows all of the facts in this case.

      • Michelle

        Don’t you think being strangled by someone who is also on record of raping another girl qualifies as something more than “sour”?

        Also, putting the word rape in quotes demeans the seriousness of the crime. Whether or not you support this particular case, please do not belittle the pain of victims by dismissing the gravity and reality of sexual violence.

        • JK

          “someone who is also on record of raping another girl”. Completely untrue. Where is the record?

          • Ragnar

            It was mentioned in her testimony, that another student wished to come forward with their own testimony, but Daniel vetoed it.

          • Michelle

            Mentioned in the press here – http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5201644

        • Cynthia D

          Point of fact: There was never a determination of “strangulation” in the findings and disciplinary action on the Brown committee. This is something Ms. Sclove has repeated so many times that people have blindly accepted it as gospel.

          • CDK ’15

            The same can be said for the charge of “rape”. Again, the disciplinary action committee never found this to be true. Lena has repeated it so many times, and reiterated it in her “press conference”, that the word has gone viral and has been accepted as fact by so many people.

          • PTSD

            CDK – So true.

          • Margo L. Dill

            THEN WHY WAS HE SUSPENDED???????? Answer me that????? Why isn’t he protesting????????????

          • whatever
          • JK

            And, I have to say, I am troubled by this aspect of the story. She said she was “strangled” twice. The first was outside against a telephone pole. Then they went upstairs where he did it again.

            Huh?!? There was no allegation that he forced her to go upstairs. No weapons. No physical force dragging her upstairs. If he “strangled her”, why would she continue into the house with him? And it was an abomination that her father quotes studies about “rapists who strangle”. I felt like I was watching a lynching.

        • Veryconcernedstudent

          This is completely false and absolutely shameful that you would say something so serious that is absolutely made up.

          Mr. Kopin was never accused by another person of anything. Get your facts straight.

          • Margo L. Dill

            If Mr. Kopin is “innocent” why isn’t he protesting? Why isn’t he commenting? Why aren’t his parents? if you didn’t do this and you were accused, would you stand by? Do you people SERIOUSLY think that this kind of stuff doesn’t happen on college campuses all the time? ANd most of the time it goes unreported AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHY. I’m disgusted!

      • Sara E

        do you honestly think lena is delighted? really? let’s think about that one a bit. she was raped and strangled by someone she considered a friend. she had to live on the same campus as her rapist for months. she woke up unable to walk because of the assault. now she’s airing all the ugly details of this case for the world to see in hopes that justice will be served. AND THEN on top of all that she has to listen to ignorant comments from people like you who are so brain-washed by rape culture that they put scare quotes around the word rape and minimize a violent, traumatic, life-altering event to a “sexual encounter gone sour.” lena is not looking for attention — she is looking for justice. please think twice before posting something so hurtful and harmful. and please think about how rape culture has clouded your judgment.

        • Concerned Student

          The fact that this student was punished says more about the University’s fear of Title IX action in response to the nearby investigations at Yale and Dartmouth than absolute guilt.

          I do not know if I can support the statements that the accused is a violent serial rapist, and I think that sensationalizing a crime that might have occurred really damages the legitimacy of the case.Three people in the home where the rape occurred testified against her, and I have heard rumors that the accused wasn’t sure if she was too drunk too have sex (which would not imply to me that it was a violent strangulation).

          I do not know what happened here, but violence does not beget violence, and I believe what the media did in the last week constitutes violence.

      • alum

        I think some readers are missing Alyssa’s point. Watch South Park’s episode “Le Petit Tourette.” Here, Cartman pretends he has Tourette syndrome to get away with saying anything he wants. But all the other characters are criticizing him. They point out that he seems very happy and excited about it, when in fact most people with real Tourette syndrome think of it as a horrible thing. South Park is pointing out that body language is the distinguishing mark between truth and a liar.

        http://www.southparkstudios.com/full-episodes/s11e08-le-petit-tourette

      • Margo L. Dill

        Ummm, it’s obvious that Kopin did something wrong. He didn’t protest the suspension. Look, if you were accused of this and you didn’t do it and your parents are involved, too, don’t you think you would be shouting to high heavens of your innocence? Alyssa B., I hope that nothing like this ever happens to someone you love. What would you think then?

        • Allegra W

          Sad, Margo,that you are so naive. “It’s obvious that Kopin did something wrong; he didn’t protest the suspension.” That is an awful stretch of logic on your part. You have no idea as to whether or not he protested the suspension,as the records are sealed by law. Lena chose to tell her accounting, but that was her choice (revealing Daniel’s name in the process, which is totally illegal and irresponsible). Perhaps Daniel, knowing how things go viral on the web, as this case has done, wanted to have minimal Google impact? Who knows? But you certainly do not. Last I checked, this is still America where “innocent until proven guilty”, without unproven assumptions, just because the latter may be convenient or fit into someone’s hot-button narrative, prevails.

          • Margo L. Dill

            First, Allegra–if you want to convince someone of your argument, it’s best not to start with an insult. Debate with your opinion and I’m all for it. YOU are debating behind a fake name and with insults, it’s hard to hear anything else you are saying.

            I stand by my logic and i ask you HONESTLY–if your name was being dragged through the mud, would you allow this? Would your parents? And you are right, NO ONE knows exactly what happened, but come on, something happened or he would not be standing aside and letting his reputation be ruined like this. I wouldn’t. And if that’s what is actually happening, you are right it is sad. What makes you so sure that nothing happened? If records are sealed, how do YOU know what happened that night?

            It might be nice for once IN AMERICA and with SOCIAL MEDIA if people were forthcoming with their identities and their relationships to the parties involved in the stories we are commenting on.

      • http://silver0rib.tumblr.com/ Holly Eskew
      • Benjamin

        I KNOW Lena very well and for your thoughtless, senseless comment, Alyssa B, eternal SHAME ON YOU.

        You have no idea – and despite how much I truly hate you in this moment – I hope you never have to understand her suffering.

        • alyssaB

          I stand by what I say. I think a large percentage of the story, no matter how much she believes it herself, is in her mind.

      • Sarah G

        Dear Alyssa B,
        Your ignorance is outstanding. The fact that you would state that woman who has been raped is delighted is frankly disgusting. Your post really makes me question your morals, values and simply who you are as a person. Clearly you have absolutely zero empathize for other people and I would really advice you educate yourself a tad more on the subject before your post such a pittiful response.

    • ’13

      Glad you support lynch mobs, Ben. Haven’t you read The Crucible? I’m ashamed that so many in this community were so quick to pull out the torches and pitchforks.

      Here, a document outlining the facts and course of events: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1194999-letter-to-office-for-civil-rights-usdoe-6-11-14.html

  • brown 14 tooooo

    expel all rapists why the heck should rapists be allowed to return at all?

    • Guest

      I agree… Now show me the proof that the male in question here is a rapist.

  • ’14

    Sign this petition before today’s community council meeting at 4PM to stand with Lena: https://docs.google.com/a/brown.edu/forms/d/1ttGDyL-imDgh6cRaMfNDjvj8s9f-GXYTMhDy6w66XLY/viewform

  • Shame

    This article is extremely sloppy. It refers to the alleged rape several times as simply the rape. Sorry but if its not in a court of law then its not without a reasonable doubt. Brown has demonstrated time and time again that it does not seek to find the truth beyond a reasonable doubt, but that it seeks to protect its public image. Until it is conclusively shown the act must be alleged not taken for granted. Shame on you, BDH.

  • PSmith

    This is very fishy. I can’t imagine a situation where someone is found guilty of rape and there exists some reasonable circumstance for the assailant only to be suspended. However, that appears to be the case and the crux is what caused the tempering of punishment–which is unknown to anyone who wasn’t part of the proceedings. There is more to this case than what is shown in the article and we should keep that in mind before demanding expulsion for Kopin. Nevertheless, this “halfway” punishment shouldn’t be acceptable to either party–either there is enough evidence of rape and the student should be expelled, or there isn’t.

    • Kit

      You’d be surprised how rarely cut-and-dry cases of rape (or, really, “non-consensual penetration” since the crime of rape cannot be adjudicated by a university) result in expulsion. It sounds fishy to you because it IS fishy how reluctant elite universities are to expel a student for any reason. Brown is just like every other school, invested in maintaining high graduation rates. It’s essentially impossible to get expelled from an Ivy.

      • Alumni

        So Universities should not be responsible to conduct these investigations as they have a conflict of interest and shouldn’t be trusted to determine guilt? So a criminal investigation, a court ruling, a court ordered restraint would be better then?

        • Alum ’09

          Yes. Definitely. Would the university handle a murder internally or contact the police?

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            yeah, true… and the difference there is that you can’t really sweep murder under the rug so they wouldn’t have much of a choice.

            what’s tough though is how slow (and generally unreliable) the legal system is. maybe it’d be best to have a faster internal investigation for the safety of those involved, while really strongly encouraging the student to pursue criminal action ASAP. i don’t believe the article that brown really encouraged her to go to the police. they didn’t want that PR. (now look where that cowardice got them!)

          • Alum ’09

            Well an arrest or an indictment would be faster than a conviction and require less evidence (probable cause). Could just link it to that. I know the stats for convictions/jail time are very low but what proportion of accused rapists are arrested/indicted?

            I also 100% agree with you that I don’t believe Brown encouraged her to go to the police. She even says that they told her it was “safer” (she assumed for her, they probably meant for themselves) for her to keep it in house.

          • smartypants

            “Probable cause” is not what a conviction hangs on. The jury needs to think the person is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Congrats on your degree from Brown–Way to know less than anyone who watches Law and Order.

          • Alum ’09

            You’re the first person who’s seemed to have not understood what I said but I was saying that probable cause is what an arrest and an indictment hang on.

            Next time try not be so rude, particularly when you’ve misunderstood something.

          • Alumni

            Thank you. I was being rhetorical for the benefit of those that aren’t comprehending the futility in protesting the University rather than examining better courses of action.

    • A Concerned Parent

      There are always too sides to every story. It’s easy to forget that, when we’re uncomfortable with not supporting the victim. There’s a lot of information that the public is not privy too. No one really knows what happened except the two people involved here. Ms. Sclove has made some very serious accusations of another human being, and he hasn’t been heard from. Does he dare in this environment? What if they’re not true? Do we really know for sure? We must be so careful… There but for the grace go all of us.

      • Joe onset

        Bravo for adding some intelligence to the conversation. There are two sides to every story, and those willing to convict a young man by online slander are unworthy of being part of the Brown community

      • Margo L. Dill

        He was interviewed by the university, right? And if the university is on a witch hunt and this guy is caught up, then TELL YOUR STORY! If this was your child, and he was innocent, would you be screaming from the tallest building on campus? I would. There would be a lawsuit. And maybe there will be a lawsuit and maybe I will eat my words. But the news is full of stories like this–of a woman accusing a man of sexual assault and then she is tried in the media. WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY RAPES GO UNREPORTED?????

    • JK

      Let’s be clear- the student alleged to commit a crime was NOT convicted of anything. I have no problem with the University expelling a student if CONVICTED of a crime, but this system of having the University decide guilt or innocence is wrong and completely dysfunctional. Having untrained school administrators and students decide guilt or innocence has created enormous problems- http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-16/college-men-accused-of-sexual-assault-say-their-rights-violated.html

      I am not making excuses for any student who committed a sexual assault, but I believe the expelled student is innocent until proven guilty. Please temper your response to this story with the knowledge that the current quasi-legal system of having the school decide guilt or innocence creates the possibility of innocent students being expelled and their lives destroyed.

      • Terdy Brown

        Agree 100%. Nobody at Brown, unless they have a JD and pass the bar examination in Rhode Island, should the authority that they do. If a court of law does its investigation and finds Kopin guilty, THEN Brown should hold its disciplinary hearing- and he should be expelled.

      • vicious little whack-a-mole

        I don’t get it. Do you oppose having an internal disciplinary system in general, do you oppose having an internal disciplinary system that doesn’t require absolute proof like the law does, or do you oppose how the systems operate in practice? The article you linked points out some startling cases, but are they the result of unjust standards (‘preponderance of evidence’, or similar, as opposed to ‘innocent until proven guilty’) or a result of universities failing to enforce their standards justly?

        An academic institution has plenty more discretion than a legal system. For example, as someone mentioned below, it has the right to investigate an instance of plagiarism and expel or suspend (or otherwise punish) a student they find guilty. Plagiarism certainly isn’t illegal, but Brown has the right to enforce their policy of academic integrity.

        And academic integrity is nothing compared to, you know, a policy of keeping students safe.

        Look, the legal system is broken. Not only that, but it’s slow. Of freaking course Brown should have the discretion to remove a student from campus as soon as they determine that the student is a threat to others.

        • funny sense of justice

          You mean like they “determined” that McCormick was a “threat”?

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            you know what? i don’t know the details of this case (nor do you, i assume), but speaking more generally, i’ll go so far as to say that brown can and should remove a student from campus even if they determine that they might pose a serious threat to others. as i’ve explained elsewhere, they exercise this discretion in cases of mental illness, and even if it’s not 100% fair how they make these decisions, it’s the right policy in general (and i say this as someone who was forced to take a psych leave).

            i think a lot of people are outraged about how this case turned out because the student’s name has gotten out. if there’s even the tiniest possibility that he’s innocent (and again, we don’t know if that’s the case), it’s incredibly sad that his reputation has been permanently ruined. but no one is saying that students brown finds guilty of sexual assault should be ‘outed’, their names plastered all over campus and the internet. we’re asking that if brown determines that a student is guilty of sexual assault (or even probably guilty), they at least remove that threat from campus until the victim (or alleged victim) graduates, and that they do so as quickly as possible.

            personally, i don’t think they should expel a student (nor should their name be made public) unless the student is found guilty in the court of law. while the legal system is flawed, so is brown’s internal one; it makes sense to supplement their investigation with another, potentially more legitimate one. i also think that it is brown’s responsibility to make sure a victim understands his/her options as far as what brown can do, what the police can do, and so on.

            i think you and i agree that brown needs to handle cases like this in a transparent, standardized, and fair way — in every step, from the initial report to the investigation to the punishment. we have reason to believe that they’re handling each of these steps wrong, as of now. the third one, at the very least, is exemplified by the fact that brown literally believed that a student was a violent rapist and still only suspended him for (less than) one year. don’t let your concern for the student’s reputation get in your way of recognizing the serious problem this case exposes.

          • jessicapancakes

            Regardless of every other issue in this case – Brown should be handling disciplinary cases about academic issues ONLY. Namely, plagiarism and cheating. Accusations of violent assault should go to the police. Unfortunately, as the student stated, she was encouraged to go to Brown instead, since as any female knows, the response form police when reporting a rape is wildly inconsistent and often traumatic.

          • jessicapancakes

            In this case (and the McCormick case from about six years ago) their has been parties involved with a history of throwing a lot of money at Brown University. You cannot possibly expect the judgment to not be colored by that fact. Indeed, the two cases unfolded in wildly different ways – generally in that they favored the rich kid.

    • Alexis SM

      I must say, what is fishy is the entire sequence of events. Reads too much like a bad movie plot.

      • WE ’14

        I agree. The pieces just don’t hold together for me. Something is not quite right about the entire scene.

  • ’15

    Thank you, Lena.

  • TruthBeTold

    Emma Hall did NOT undergo a sexual assault of a similar nature. People like her undermine Lena’s brave struggle for justice. Lena is seeking rectitude for the horrific acts committed, Emma is using a gray area of whether consent was given as a platform for her activism. This is not solidarity, this is undermining honest victims who suffered deplorable acts by repeatedly attempting to place all sexual assault under one banner. What a poor claim of activism on Emma’s part, exhibited by her self-aggrandizement on FB.

    • Sophie

      You sound like Todd Akin and the “legitimate rape” troglodytes. Take your horrifying misogyny and sick, twisted personal vendettas elsewhere, bro.

      • sweet feet

        what were the details of the Emma Hall thing? I agree that the too drunk girl/drunk guy hookup thing that the girl next day claims is rape actually undermines cases like Lena’s, by making victims seem like they are whining about poor actions they and the boy in question may have facilitated by being way too drunk- is that what the OP is implying happened here?

        • Emma Hall

          Emma Hall, here. I’m not sure which standards this commenter is using to judge what constitutes a “similar nature.” I was not strangled when I was raped, and I have never claimed to have been, but I was indeed raped. I was in a male acquaintance’s room, 100% sober. We hooked up (not sex), and when he got up to get a condom, I told him I didn’t want to have sex. When he was upset by that, I told him no again, explaining my reasoning. I said no 5-7 times, and never said anything other than no–not maybe, okay, or yes. It was always no. I was extremely clear about that. I was under the impression that he understood and would respect my lack of consent to sex, so I stayed and we started to hook up (not sex) again. I never expressed in any way that I had changed my mind about sex, but he raped me anyways.

          I have pages and pages of emails, texts, and Facebook messages from the man in the days, weeks, and months following, in which he fully accepts that what he did was sexual assault, and that I had every right to file a complaint or press charges. While initially I was not planning on going through a hearing, months later when I was still suffering panic attacks, nightmares, and other manifestations of PTSD, I decided that I needed to take action in order to feel safer (not just physically, but mentally and emotionally) at Brown.

          A couple things: I should not have to specify my sobriety in order to be believed. My case is in the minority, because I did happen to be stone-cold sober. But the vast majority of cases do involve alcohol, and the victims involved in those cases deserve belief and support.

          Secondly, the fact that my hearing resulted in a more serious sanction than Lena’s is an enormous problem, and I have brought up this inconsistency many times among this group of activists, as well as with school administrators.

          • Alum ’09

            Similarly, approximately one-half of all sexual assault victims report that they were drinking alcohol at the time of the assault, with estimates ranging from 30 to 79 percent (Abbey et al. 1994; Crowell and Burgess 1996). http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh25-1/43-51.htm

            So your assault probably isn’t representative of a minority (or if it is, a very large minority)

          • Alum ’09

            My post is poorly worded. I mean that plenty (if not the majority) of women are assaulted while sober, and I agree that your sobriety is irrelevant.

  • NotOnMeth

    Dear Dean Klawunn,

    Not everything in accord with university policy is correct, reasonable, or justifiable. Lena gave you a chance to rectify the pittance of a penalty given and you somehow blew it. I’ll be one fewer alumni donation to count on.

    - X ’13

    • >3lena

      +1

  • - Y ’11

    While I do agree that the University did not handle this case well at all, I think the decision the BDH has made when editing this article are deplorable.

    I cannot start to imagine how a University could find a student guilty of non-consensual penetration with potential violence and not expell him. The one year suspension flies in the face of the university’s commitment to curb sexual misconduct. Shame on Brown.

    Nevertheless this is not rape, this is alledged rape. No matter how odious the alledged crime, publically declaring an individual has committed it is unfair, extremely damaging to the (potentially innocent) individual, and – in my opinion – libellous. The BDH falls short of any kind of decent editorial standards here, and I hope to see editors sternly warned if not dismissed.

    I am especially concerned to see that Ms. Sclove is never directly quoted in naming her assailant nor has she named him in previous addresses – further proof that this is a unilateral move by BDH staff.

    I fully support Ms. Sclove in her campaign to change the way Brown handles cases such as hers. She has showed great courage and resilience. The university would be lucky to count her among its alumni and I wish her all the best in the long journey ahead.

    • goo

      Agreed…I was shocked that the accused student was named. What happens if we figure out that the story is totally different than is claimed and there is a 1% chance that this guy is innocent? In that case, the BDH has defamed the name of a person who has not even been formally indicted.

  • The Wrongly Accused

    Mr. Kopin,

    It’s not easy to find your contact information online. And although I do not know the details of your case, I want you to know there are many people who are on your side. Unless you admit that the alleged rape was fact or are convicted in a fair legal courtroom, I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your innocence here. Brown University has an incredibly low standard of evidence required for their judiciary decisions. It could have just been her word against yours that led to you being found responsible.

    This must be incredibly tough for you: the hearing, the suspension, and now the public outcry. It will be tough going forward as well. You will likely have some form of PTSD or at least some serious emotional baggage to carry with you, but life will roll forward. You will find new friends at Brown and beyond who won’t condemn you as easily as some of the Brown community has. You will be able to explain the mark on your transcript to graduate schools or employers like I have with mine, and all will work out in the end.

    I don’t think we’ve ever met, but I love you. And I wish you the best. Carry on, do great things with your life, and, please, put this behind you.

    Sincerely,
    A Former Brown Student Wrongly Accused

    • ’15

      shut up, Jacy.

      • Not Jacy

        He wasn’t the only one.

      • Terdy Brown

        #cattyanonymouscommenters #namedropping #whoareyou

        I don’t know a Jacy…but no need to bring names into this. The BDH already did that and that’s one of the reasons we are all saying they screwed up.

    • Justice G

      “Unless you admit that the alleged rape was fact or are convicted in a fair legal courtroom, I give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your innocence here” and the “low standards” of Brown’s that you bring up are SO important- it’s as if Brown assumes the student is guilty until proven innocent, or is willing to severely punish and ostracize a student who is only 90% likely to be guilty. That wouldn’t fly in court, and it shouldn’t fly anywhere.

      When you accuse someone of rape and punish them for it, that comes up when someone does a google search of your name. Your friends would know. And professors. And parents. And campus.

      The university’s process is too arbitrary- it could let some rapists go (it sounds like Lena’s was definitely real- she was choked and suffered serious injury), or it could wrongly ruin the life of an innocent student.

      • vicious little whack-a-mole

        Do you think that Brown’s standards should be just like a court’s, or do you just think they’re too low? If the former, I just don’t see how that’s reasonable. People slip through the cracks in the legal system all the time, but we are talking about, you know, depriving someone of their personal liberties by locking them up in jail. A more common-sense set of standards (‘preponderance of evidence’) makes a lot more sense when you’re an institution obligated to take precautions to ensure the safety of your students.

        I’ve complained about Brown’s ‘better safe than sorry’ approach before: I have problems with how they deal with mental illness, for example, by forcing students into ‘voluntary’ leaves of absence. But I’ve never denied that they should have the discretion to do so if they really believe (even without a court saying so!!) that a student might pose a threat to him/herself or others. Again, their priority is to keep students safe, so even though I think they make poor judgments sometimes, I think they generally have the right idea and I can understand where they’re coming from. And like, let’s keep in mind that we’re not talking about some depressed kid here; we’re talking about SOMEONE WHOM THEY BELIEVE VIOLENTLY RAPED A CLASSMATE.

        • Justice G

          Have you read about Adam Lack? Or read To Kill A Mockingbird? Duke Lax?these are good examples of the reason it’s really dangerous to have your attitude, although it’s understandable. Unfortunately with many drunk college rape cases, it comes down to her word against his- it seems a bit different in this case, granted, but generally that is what’s so hard about them. Your way of doing things would allow potentially innocent men to be severely punished and ostracized for something they didn’t do. Even if the university is right in disciplining 9 of every 10 cases, that is 1 too many kids whose lives- ability to get a job, maintain friends, graduate from college- are indelibly affected by something they didn’t do.

          Courts deal with rape imperfectly- as “Terdy Brown” brilliantly points out, it’s one of the hardest types of cases to prove.

          And that’s a good thing that it’s so hard to prove- accusing someone of rape is a big deal, and without credible evidence (which should ALWAYS include a physical examination and, if possible a sperm or skin sample from the perpetrator if the victim intends to accuse), you usually don’t have enough to go off of to permanently change someone’s life. Rape victims have an incredibly tough time, of course, and I feel so terribly for them, but that doesn’t mean we should just through caution to the wind and use evidence that at the very least COULD be dicey to formally accuse someone of rape.

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            Of course I know about those cases. They’re sad, but no system is perfect.

            You say that a better-safe-than-sorry attitude is dangerous. But you know what other attitude is dangerous? Having standards for guilt so high that you allow a student to remain on campus while BELIEVING THAT HE VIOLENTLY RAPED ANOTHER STUDENT — believing that he may hurt others, knowing that his presence on campus makes at least one person feel so unsafe that she’s not sure if she wants to return to campus again.

            Who’s saying that a student convicted by the school shouldn’t be able to graduate? The proposed change to Brown’s code says that the student shouldn’t be allowed to return until the victim graduates or two years have passed, whichever is longer.

            I was asked by Brown to take a leave of absence for a year due to mental health issues. This is very common. I didn’t think it was quite fair, because it was so obvious to me that I wasn’t a threat to myself or others, but I understood why they did it (and it ended up being really good for me!). Does this put this case in perspective for you? Brown has plenty of discretion in determining whether a student should be on campus — again, because they’re obligated to take precautions to keep students safe. Let’s ignore the Kopin case for a minute and look at your hypothetical “90% guilty” case. Compare the typical mental illness case (“This kid has a mood disorder, there’s like a 1 in 10,000 case they’ll crack and kill themselves” [I assume that's the worry?]) to that one: “There is a 90% chance that this kid is a rapist, perhaps a serial rapist (because most rapists are), and a 100% chance that his victim will be so upset by his presence on campus that she will be unable to function and may be forced to leave.”

            That puts it in context, right? This isn’t like the law. This isn’t about putting someone in jail, depriving him of his personal freedom. This is about using reasonable standards to keep students safe.

            The one thing that differs between the cases, of course, is the effect on the (alleged) perpetrator. While there’s nothing on my permanent record saying, you know, “Brown made me leave because I was mentally ill and they thought I might be dangerous,” someone’s life is permanently affected if it becomes public knowledge that they were convicted of rape by their school. So in your “90% guilty” case, in an ideal world, the kid’s name wouldn’t get out. And in an ideal world, perhaps, even Kopin’s name wouldn’t have gotten out. It probably wouldn’t have, if Brown hadn’t botched this case so badly that Lena had to come forth!

          • Justice G

            Yes you are right vicious little whack a mole- Justice G and Terdy Brown are indeed one and the same. I like coming up with different pseudonyms- it’s part of the fun! Although I usually do keep the same name when commenting on the same article, so maybe that wasn’t the best choice on my part.

            I hope you are OK now- that’s a lot to go through, and I know a few kids at Brown who had mental health issues when I was in undergrad. One of whom was asked to take a leave, and he claims the loneliness of not being at school only made his depression worse, so I understand that that process is very difficult. I’m glad you found that the experience was for the better.

            I do think that some stricter protocol needs to be discussed for sexual violence cases at universities that try independently without legal input, so that the process is a bit less arbitrary. From what I understood from a former suite-mate who served on these committees, a lot of Brown’s decision depends on which professors and deans are chosen to be on the committee that is trying you; certain deans are more apt to find you guilty no matter what you say.

            I’d also think that some type of legal action in rape cases would actually make it a lot easier for schools- if Lena had gone straight to the police, had a physical, and the attacker were found guilty of rape or even aggravated assault for the spine injury, he would be in jail right now- and be forced to register as a sex offender, which would make it much harder for him to hurt others in the future. He definitely would not be at Brown, and it would probably be a lot easier for Brown’s committee to try him and enact harsher punishment.

            For shady rape cases, it is a bit more difficult, granted. It still seems like a good idea to encourage students to go to the police, since a court trial is generally better at getting the truth out on a number of levels- 1. Lying under oath is a criminal offense itself, so people tend to avoid questions or not answer all together, which can be very revealing. 2. If there is other info of relevance (i.e. reports of previous attacks, harassment of coworkers, violent behavior when intoxicated, etc), that is allowed in court unless the plaintiff’s attorney objects and the judge grants the objection. Even if the accused is found not guilty in this case, it could give the administration a little more to work with when conducting their own trial. I don’t think that universities should do away with their internal trials- as Kit pointed out earlier, legally, Brown needs to do something- but it might be a better idea for Brown to suggest that rape victims go to the police, and have the case looked into by law enforcement, in an effort to get a better picture of what actually happened

          • vicious little whack-a-mole

            thanks for your kind words!! sorry about your friend’s experience — there have been a lot of cases in which brown has screwed the pooch with mental health cases. in the past year(!) two students on (psych/) leave have died in what appeared to be suicides, and lots of students are (for good reason) holding the school accountable.

            i wholeheartedly agree that brown’s way of dealing with sexual violence cases internally is flawed and has a lottt of room for improvement, as well as that they should encourage students to go to the police. as i’ve posted elsewhere, there are plenty of reasons a victim might be afraid or unwilling to pursue legal action… but yeah, it’s brown’s job to make sure students understand what the school can do for them and what the police can do for them, and i’m pretty sure they refuse to do that.

      • Stanley Stewart ’16

        As a close friend of Justice Gaines, I have verified that this is NOT Justice Gaines and this person commenting using his name is in fact an imposter/troll. Please disregard.

        • Justice G

          oh oops…I am sorry. My first name begins with a G, so that’s why I chose that pseudonym, since I was making a point about Brown’s disciplinary system. Wasn’t trying to be Justice Gaines- for the record! ha

          • Justice G

            Slash I did not imply that I was Justice Gaines and did not comment “using his name”… think I’m being trolled?

    • jk

      Thank you for your incredibly eloquent and thoughtful words. They have in fact been shared with him and were very comforting. Thank you so much.

    • TaxiOnna

      Barf.

    • you forgot something

      well that’s sweet, but what if he did do it?

  • Joe

    It’s easy to agree that any instance of rape or assault is wrong. But just remember there is always a second side, no matter what the accusations are for any perpetrator. Don’t blame the victim, but we shouldn’t be afraid to ask valid questions especially in ambiguous circumstances. Does this student have a past history of mental illness or abuse? Was this young woman also under the influence of drugs? We need to support what is right, but we also need to remain vigilant of truth and facts in cases like this which may not share information in an article solely voicing one side….

    • ’14

      so what if she was under the influence of drugs? The point is the school found her account credible and convicted him in their board, but failed to expel him.

      If you’re plagiarize, you’re expelled. If you rape and choke someone, the appropriate punishment is effectively one semester away from school. Medical leaves for mental illness are forcibly two semesters of suspension. Something doesn’t add up.

  • Poor Job by BDH

    Shame on the BDH naming the “alleged rapist.” Really poor journalism. Good on Lena for being strong.

    • anon

      But it’s not poor journalism when the New York Times reports names?
      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/16/sports/errors-in-inquiry-on-rape-allegations-against-fsu-jameis-winston.html?_r=0
      This is news. The BDH had the information, and IMO, they therefore had the responsibility to publish. If they had withheld the name, I personally think that would have been unethical. I also wonder if this would be an issue if the student in question had been found guilty of any other crime by the university. What makes sexual assault/rape different?

      • ’11

        The difference between NYT and BDH is that the NYT reported accusation whereas the BDH reported rape. The former is journalism, the latter is libel.

        The nature of the crime has no bearing on this. Even when a person is convicted of a crime, respectable news organization will usually keep it as “X was convicted of crime Y”.

        It is not the job of the BDH to decide who committed what. There are two parties here and they should have respected both.

  • CreamyBoii69

    Rape culture is a joke at this school.

    To reiterate what was said earlier, “Emma Hall did NOT undergo a sexual assault of a similar nature. People like her undermine Lena’s brave struggle for justice.”

    Couple questions:

    Why was Emma Hall’s “rapist” suspended for an entire year, while Lena’s for only a semester?

    Legitimately curious why rape victims at this school don’t go to the police if it were actually rape?

    • vicious little whack-a-mole

      based on the article, it sounds like brown encouraged her to go through their system. why? to cover their butts. if they deal with a case internally, they can just pretend it never happened and avoid the bad publicity of having a student convicted of rape in court. she did go to the police eventually, btw, but in a case like this, you fare better if you go sooner rather than later.

      but i mean, there are plenty of reasons a student might be hesitant to go to the police. it’s so daunting! god, i can’t even think of all the things that intimidate me about the process of pursuing legal action. it could be excruciatingly long and emotionally painful; it may end up costing you money; it’s probably going to be more public; perhaps you wouldn’t have any particular desire to get the perpetrator in legal trouble, or you’d even feel guilty about it. (of course, this case ended up public and the student’s name got out, which could similarly make someone feel guilty, but these aren’t foreseeable consequences to someone who believes brown will do a good job handling the case.)

      if i were assaulted, i’d just want to feel safe. as soon as possible. and if i believed that the school could handle the case quickly and quietly — which brown tries to convince us that they can — of course i’d just go with that and avoid the more draining course of action.

      • Guest2

        For my money, there’s not much better way to feel safe than the knowledge that my attacker is in an 8′x10′ box.

    • TaxiOnna

      She ALSO went to the police, for the record.

  • Ed Holmes

    Although its too late now, the Editors of the Herald and other victims may want to avoid publishing the attacker’s name as he now has grounds to sue victims for defamation and/or public disclosure of private information given that he was not convicted in a court of law. While Libel is difficult to prove, a trial will put the victim through hell and also could end up with a judgement against the victim.

    • anon

      So true.

      • Alicia Alum

        IF the incident happened at all in the form of rape. Given Ms. Sclove’s body language and smirks on camera, one wonders if she is simply rewriting the history of a sexual encounter that did not go as planned, but was still above board.

  • Alumni 2009

    Thanks for sharing your story, Lena, and for staying strong in the face of adversity. The Brown I went to was a community far more supportive than this, but I noticed the change in temperament of the administration in the recent years since I graduated. I hope that the administration can revert back to standing up for those whose rights have been violated.

  • ’15

    I don’t think the BDH had the right or the journalistic ethical privilege to publish the boy’s name.

    For one, Brown’s sexual-assault investigations are not a rigorous proxy for the criminal justice system. It has no legal ramifications and the rigor of its capacity to determine guilt has never been tested. In recent years, the U. has come down falsely on both sides of sexual assault cases. The burden of proof in these investigations can be meager, but, at least in Brown’s case, it has often depended on the students involved and on the University’s vested interests in keeping them as paying clients.

    It’s true that false accusations of rape are often much more publicized and touted than actual accusations of rapes. And publishing the boy’s name has brought more of his victims forward, an important step in determining the extent of his criminal history and, therefore, the punishment he deserves (expulsion, as I see it.) That does not mean that the BDH can, in its role as a newspaper, determine whether or not a specific case had been rightly determined. There is no journalistic rationale for publicizing his name: The article reports on a protest to replace the University’s sexual assault policies, and providing the name of the alleged perpetrator brings nothing of value to the reporting.

    The true venue for the publication of his name is Lena. She is the person who has the most right, the best ability, to out her rapist, bring him to justice, and put the narrative of her rape in her own hands.

    • Alum ’09

      I would be stunned if Lena actually does have the right to name the person in the disciplinary proceedings. Usually such things are confidential. Another reason Universities should stay out of it.

    • JK

      “And publishing the boy’s name has brought more of his victims forward”- Absolutely not true. Completely made up.

      • Alyssa B

        I AGREE. If you read the FACTS in this case, you will see that the statement that “others have come forward” is a fabrication that has come thru only via the rumor mill. For that matter, the true facts, if you bother to read and digest them, abrogate about 90% of what is being said on the Internet.

  • senior

    Feeling ashamed of the fellow Brunonian who decided to put the accused’s name in this article. Absolutely ashamed.

    • Concerned Alum

      Ditto!

      • Abigail P

        Yes! This discussion smirks of vigilante justice :-(

  • Concerned Alum

    I think that people should be very careful about rallying behind a cause they know little to nothing about. Sexual assault cases are often very complex, confusing and hazy. They are rarely cut-and-dry and there are always more than one, if not multiple perspectives. I think the fact that this guy’s name has been announced to the public is absolutely egregious. Regardless of his guilt, he does not deserve to have his name be tainted forever. I am an alum, who graduated several years ago, and I remember how young and immature college students are (sorry y’all… it’s true). Even if he made a terrible mistake, he is barely an adult and should be allowed to learn, grow and move on (with appropriate repercussions). However, we don’t know how guilty he actually is. Last time I checked, rape is a crime (duh). So if he is totally at fault, and to blame, then he should be brought to court, where a fair and regulated trial can occur. My understanding is that this did not happen, which probably means the whole situation is far more complex than we really understand. I don’t feel like I understand the situation fully enough to jump in on any petition, nor attribute guilt or innocence to this young man. Also, I’d just like to say, that I am a woman, and have worked with survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. I am just asking everyone to be more thoughtful and to not get swept up in this media craze, much of which I think has to do with Brown being an ivy league institution.

    • CP

      >>Regardless of his guilt, he does not deserve to have his name be tainted forever.

      I could not possibly disagree more. “Rape culture” is endemic at colleges and universities throughout the country for several reasons – among those is that a subset of young men think that rape isn’t a big deal. It is. Consequences must be sufficiently punitive such that they serve as a deterrent to others.

      Classifying rape as a “terrible mistake” and applying your “he is barely an adult” defense to a college student’s violent criminal behavior is repulsive – but even worse, it’s incredibly dangerous. It should be obvious that there is a higher standard of conduct than ‘young and reckless’ or ‘YOLO’ for Brown students, particularly when it injures another person. We’re not talking about using a fake ID or a parking ticket here. Rape has no place in society, and it must be crystal clear that it has no place at Brown – even if one is “barely an adult”.

      • funny sense of justice

        Just to be clear, the concept of rehabilitation (the alleged goal of the criminal justice system) does not exist in your world? Should we be executing rapists, since they have no place in your society?

  • Teddy

    I often feel a bit uneasy when such a seemingly “he says – she says” story is used to make what is an unquestionably valid point re: a culture of denial and disbelief on college campuses. There seem to be very few definitive facts about this particular incident itself beside Lena’s testimony. I don’t doubt in the least that she is telling the truth, and I have no intention of minimizing her unquestionable pain and suffering, but I urge us all to take the high road if we can and allow Mr. Kopin the benefit of the doubt, as doubt is certainly a presence in this particular case. By no means am I suggesting he return, but we know absolutely nothing from his particular side.

    One thing that is clear however is that the accused has more ego than empathy. Perhaps he feels like he has been wronged or slandered, or maybe that the system is rigged against him by definition (in a burgeoning culture of administrators fearful of this exact sort of press), but if Mr. Kopin had an ounce of empathy for this poor girl, he would do the right thing and leave Brown on his own accord. Though the concrete facts are indeed vague, there is nothing ambiguous about Lena’s fear of this boy, and whether he believes it is warranted or not, it’s up to him to right this wrong now.

  • Concerned

    The Brown Herald clearly needs a briefer in libel law. Without any legal accusations, you can’t refer to someone by name in a way damaging to their reputation especially when the claims being made here are this substantial. Consider the impact of your poor adherence to standard ethical practices.

  • RaRa

    Restraining Order.
    The police of Providence can do what Brown has not. Lena, go tell the police what buildings you take classes in, what streets you walk down to get to them, and they can bar him from that area. If he can’t get to class and has to drop out because going onto the main green would be a misdemeanor… then let consequences fall where they may.

  • Joe Onset

    Joseph Onset ’16
    Come
    on, people. Get real. Mr. Kopin was NOT found to be a rapist, but only to
    having had sex while drinking alcohol – which is a technical violation of
    sexual misconduct only. You are all on the mob vigilante bandwagon in the name
    of “justice” without knowing all the facts of the case. Meanwhile, you are
    ruining a young man’s life. This is unconscionable for allegedly intelligent
    Brown students.

    • Erin

      He was found to have used force on her neck. It describes the official findings in the letter linked above. Is strangling someone a “technical violation” of the code of conduct?

      • ohgosh

        Actually, if you read the letter carefully, this was never found to be true. Supported only by her theatrics on stage

        • helenoftroy

          That is right. The report NEVER used the words strangle, choke, or rape, for that matter. These are Lena’s words only, as used in her video press conference.

  • Joe Onset

    To Erin — Yes, it is a technical violation. She has no medical record of bruises of any kind, and no official record of any medical complaints. It could (or could not be) something solely in her imagination — we’ve no way of knowing. And last time I checked, it’s still a country and state where ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is the rule of law, rather than the vigilante mob justice finding its way to blogs such as this one. Brown administration saw fit to let him return to campus, and I, for one, am willing to trust their judgment. They certainly know much, much more than we do.

  • SH

    Let’s not forget that these are very serious accusations we are making here. As much as it is tempting to jump on this hot-button issue, immediately form a strong opinion, and label a man a rapist who has not yet been convicted of being one, let’s not forget that in doing so we are making assumptions about a situation of which we, in reality, know next to nothing about. The only evidence we have is that he was found to have violated rules in the student code of conduct, but we have zero evidence so far that this man is a rapist and we should be careful before we interpret the results of the school hearing as such. Please don’t forget that there are two human beings involved in this case, and that we cannot disregard his life and dignity as much as we cannot hers. Putting his name in the article is an uncalled for act of character-assassination that you should be ashamed of.

    Rape and sexual assault are a very serious issues and I do applaud anyone who brings to light the flaws of the university and legal system when it comes to these cases. This is an ongoing struggle for women everywhere and is worthy of our attention. But to use assuming language about a specific case and about a specific person who has so far been found guilty of nothing in a court of law is a terrible, sad thing to do. Please – be careful. Be thoughtful. Think before you write.

    • joy vidale

      Thank you for your thoughtful and intelligent input.

  • Survivor

    As a woman who was raped, I can attest to the horrors of not being believed. I have supported many women where this has been the case. It is devastating. On the other hand, I have also experienced the opposite…and have unwittingly, for a period of time, supported women who I later learned had not told the truth. Why did they misrepresent? I am not an expert, but in many cases it became clear that mental illness, a need for attention, a former trauma and/or a small lie that grew into a tall tale were factors. I am not saying that this is the case with Lena, although the more neutral report in the Providence Journal sends up a few red flags for me. In truth, I am most alarmed that people have joined an electronic lynching mob in this case. Sexual assault is abhorrent, but so is an online lynching mob, which forms despite participants not having the facts. We have only heard from one side, and that side has publicly used words (such as rape) in a way that is inappropriate, misleading and inciteful. It is alarming that a man’s reputation/life can be affected so radically without due process.

    Furthermore, anger about Brown (and other institutions of learning) handling such cases must be treated as a separate issue. I especially liked JK’s comments in this regard. Brown’s lack of reaction in the past does NOT equal this person’s guilt. Separate issues. I absolutely believe that the police should handle all cases of alleged rape. Any university has too may other agendas to be neutral in such matters. The police, while not always perfect, would be more appropriate. Let’s not try the case on the Internet.

    • Abigail P

      I agree. very well said

    • Terdy Brown

      This is a wonderful point. Agree 100%. Thank you for sharing. There is definitely more need for some type of legal action before the university should be able to discipline students for something as serious as rape- especially since the identity of the supposed ‘rapist’ often seems to come out when Brown finds someone guilty, based on what has in the past been spotty evidence.
      Many posters say that Brown’s policy should be to conceal the identity of the rapist and conduct its own investigation, BUT that doesn’t work in practice. How is one supposed to keep investigations or allegations from groups of people they hang out with? People are bound to figure out if someone has to leave Brown, and then word spreads like wildfire.
      That happened with a ‘he said, she said’ case with a football player a bit ago- it was just inevitable that everyone would figure out given his social circle. Circumstantial evidence would be fine if the consequences were simply that the accused left Brown quietly without permanent damage done to their job prospects and name- but as we have seen, this is not the case. The implications for the accused can be lasting and negative. I understand that if it really is rape, the victim will feel terribly, but high standards also need to be set to protect students from girls who either make up the rape altogether, or who can’t really remember the sex to the best of their abilities due to intoxication.

      Whether or not Daniel did rape Lena-and I do want to believe her- I hope he and his family sue Brown (or at least the Herald) for releasing his name and tying it with the word ‘rape’, despite not being convicted in a criminal court.

      A stricter policy based on an outside legal process would better ensure that really harmful rapists are kept from the Brown community permanently and cases of ‘he said-she said’ are maybe not tried, unless the victim has subjected themselves to physical examination and that physical examination shows some evidence of forced entry. Brown should really stress the importance of this- if a girl is truly raped, she should be encouraged to go to the police and be physically examined (ideally for semen or for minuscule cuts and tears to the vaginal area that indicate forced entry) so that her rapist can be put away before he harms other women.

      I have been hesitant to say anything along these lines, but in many of these cases (maybe not Lena’s but others), my mind comes back to To Kill a Mockingbird- when an innocent man was defamed and ostracized for rape due to some ulterior reason for hatred (his race, in that case), whether that is the administration or a girl’s feminist-y hatred for athletes or fraternity brothers who sleep with a lot of girls, or psychological issues of the girl in question.

      Thank you for saying this- it needed to be said, and you have excellent reasons to say it. You are very brave.

  • R B

    April 26, 2014

    The following statement was released today by attorney David Duncan on behalf of Daniel Kopin.

    Daniel is deeply saddened by recent events at Brown University and has decided to
    withdraw his request to return to the university.

    Daniel maintains that his relationship with the fellow student involved in this matter
    was consensual. Despite disagreeing with the conclusions and the outcome of the disciplinary case brought against him last year, he accepted the penalties imposed on him and abided by the university’s requirements in every respect.

    This case has now become highly sensationalized. The university’s student newspaper and online media sites have repeated claims made about Daniel’s conduct –
    allegations and rumors that have been asserted as fact. These claims are false.

    Daniel is grateful for the time he was able to spend at Brown and was fully prepared
    to return to school, and to abide by any conditions placed on him by the university. Daniel does not intend to engage in a public debate on this issue.

  • SCK

    Allegations which become communicated as fact, in the explosive fashion of our immediate-access on-line world, can have devastating consequences. The disciplinary process at Brown was not a criminal investigation, and to portray or imply that Mr Kopin is guilty when he was not charged with or convicted of a crime is misrepresentation. Shame on the Brown Daily Herald and the sensationalist internet media for violating principles of accurate and factual reporting, and for violating the fundamental Justice principle of presumed innocence.

  • B|T

    Brown did mishandle this case. It is clear that they sanctioned Kopin with no supporting evidence. Unfortunately, Brown is also a place where someone with such twisted fantasies can publish them as truth with the intention of defaming an upstanding student’s name. Katherine Lamb demonstrates indiscretion as an editor by publishing an article that contains no supporting evidence or verifiable information.

    Sexual assault in the university setting is a serious matter. People like Lena cheapen the stories of real victims and are in fact working against progress in this matter. I’m glad that Kopin finally released a statement, I just hope that people will recognize it and that every effort will be made by the Brown Daily Herald to rectify the wrong it has done.

  • JD

    A few points:

    1. The issue with Brown is if Brown believes he raped and choked then allowing him back on campus is negligent and incredibly stupid. The Brown disciplinary process is sufficiently convoluted that most victims are not afforded a process that protects them enough whilst seeking justice. However, the truth is Brown responds so poorly using the system that they do. If the evidence points to rape then they should take all hands off and send the case to the police. The sanction of a year long suspension was by determined Dean Ward (then Margaret Klawunn if you appeal) who uses similar cases but each case is different because of the nature of these cases. The problem is Dean Ward and Margaret Klawunn.

    2. The student being charged was not found responsible by a criminal court but by an undergraduate, a professor (not a legal professor at that), and another dean (likely not to have a JD). This system is notoriously compliant to the student with the most familial clout with Brown. See William McCormick, Adam Lack, and cases where the accused were let off. The Joukowsky Institute maintains access to Petra in Jordan. A Prince or princeling, what have you, was not charged with rape despite a strong case against him. The system involving Castillo-Appollonio, Klawunn, and Ward is simply there for rich students, athletes, and the like to vent their anger for the most part. There must be some cases where they get it right but more cases are bungled by them than not.

    3. Legal systems in the Anglosphere countries use “beyond reasonable doubt” for criminal cases, “balance of probability” for civil cases, and “whatever the administrators want” for Brown disciplinary hearings. Students that have never been involved should be aware that Brown charges are meaningless because of this. So suppose the accused did choke and did rape, you would not be able to use the Brown charges as proof of this. If you know enough about the law and the legal systems in place, even wrongful convictions can be maintained for decades and I’m sure many remain undiscovered. On the other hand, slick lawyers, power, money, witness intimidation, and the like can allow criminals to remain free. There are a lot of bad people who manage to stay free and in some cases without any record.

    There are Brown graduates who have violently raped but did not go through Brown proceedings and are still enjoying the benefits of a Brown degree without any notoriety or negative consequences.

    So the questions that remain are:
    1. Why does Brown charge a student with rape then allow him back on campus? Does it not believe its own charges or does it not take rape seriously?

    2. How does Brown go about making these decisions and could they make public cases whilst omitting the names of those involved?

    3. Was it rape? This we cannot answer easily and it would be wrong to side one way or another without sufficient evidence.

    My personal train of thought is: Victim has not sought a legal means of asserting her rights sufficiently, why not? She has a lawyer and a public platform now. Seek a restraining order and press criminal charges if she maintains it was rape. Calling the university to remove him is a fair request but the main thrust of her efforts to seek justice and protection should be through the legal system. Protesting outside the Van Wickle gates, inciting most of the student population, and publishing confidential letters does not really address her safety or search for justice.

    The university charges are meaningless in any legal sense but could it have been a decision that was only designed to assuage the victim?

    I do not believe either is lying necessarily. The victim could have felt raped even during the encounter whilst the accused felt he was having a consensual encounter. This is possible. The problem here is she has not engaged the legal system despite having a lawyer and the university is overstepping its legal bounds by processing cases of rape when they don’t have the right people or the right system.

    • wendyola

      FYI, the Brown findings and actions never used the word “rape”. This is simply assumed to be fact here because Lena used the word in her statement and the Internet picked up on it. Out of fairness to DK, let’s get the facts straight, at least in this paper, please.

      • Avi T.

        The issue with Brown is if Brown believes he raped and choked then
        allowing him back on campus is negligent and incredibly stupid. .

        • Avi T.

          Meant to say, the report of the disciplinary committee never used the words choke, strangle, or rape. These are words used by the accuser, Ms. Sclove, only. The committee found the accused guilty of none of the above. Please provide proof before you make inflammatory statements.

    • Terdy Brown

      I agree with you 100%- our ideas very similar, and from your name I take it that you too are a lawyer or working toward becoming one. There are so many legal issues I’m seeing in these cases (and no, not even things that the Uni. would be exempt from as a private institution).
      +1

  • Juan Nunez-Martinez ’03

    People, you need to block out the assailant’s name from the letter. It’s irresponsible not to do so.

    • Concerned parent

      Although I believe that you meant well, please note that it is also irresponsible not to include ALLEGED assailant. Let’s really not forget that he was NEVER criminally charged, that there has NEVER been a criminal trial, and he has NEVER been found guilty of the crimes that he has been accused of. This is one person’s story. Just because she has said all of this, absolutely does not mean that it is true.

      • Juan Nunez-Martinez ’03

        That is a fair point.

  • JK

    “A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the alleged rape happened at a party. In fact, it happened after the party. The article also previously misstated that Sclove immediately filed a report with the Providence Police Department. In fact, she did so months later. The article also previously referenced the incident in some instances as a rape, rather than an alleged rape. The Herald regrets the errors.”

    Why not add, “The original story used a sensational and irresponsible headline that wrongly declared that a student who was never charged with any crime is a rapist and a strangler. By publicly naming him, against all journalistic rules and human standards of decency, we assisted in creating a lynch mob and have caused grievous harm to him. The Herald regrets this error”

    • Suzy

      I agree. The way this has been handled by the BDH and all other media is completely irresponsible. Mr. Kopin is a human being, just like Lena. I can’t believe how much people have forgotten that fact as they blindly fight for a cause without consideration for the specifics of this particular case.

      • Allegra W

        Agreed. If (and it may) come out that Lena made up many details of this story, Kopin’s life is all but ruined. Google hits never go away. I, for one, am finding too many holes and inconsistencies as Lena tells and retells her story. It keeps changing from day to day and week to week, and is beginning to unravel before our eyes. My opinion, of course,and time will tell.

        If I am right, however, she has done a GREAT disservice to women everywhere, especially those who are true victims of sexual assault.

  • Emma

    Cases like this make me feel unsafe on campus. I feel unsafe because whether or not this man is guilty or innocent, an accusation could happen to anyone. All it takes for a man’s (or woman’s) entire life to become entirely destroyed at this school is for someone to make a claim that they have been raped. Boom. Done. No convincing evidence is needed. An individual unfairly accused literally loses everything. If Kopin was innocent, his life is now over. If he’s guilty then he should be punished even further.

    Brown needs to change its rape policy. Rape should have a zero tolerance policy. However, there also NEEDS to be a more efficient and fair process to determine if the accused is indeed guilty!

    Furthermore, I do not believe Brown is a “rape culture”. Brown University views rape as one of the worst things that could possibly happen (and rightfully so!). Would a rape culture dismantle and ostracize someone with no evidence against him? No way. If a rape joke is made on campus, the person making the joke gets yelled at and socially shamed by basically every listener here (and rightfully so!) But would a rape culture do that? No way.

    Saying that Brown has a rape culture is incredibly damaging to so many people on campus. Especially in regards to fairness for the future accused. Anyone accused of rape will almost automatically be labeled guilty because administration, faculty, and students want to get rid of this horrible rape culture accusation more than ever. And of course they should! Who stands for rape? No one here. So why would they NOT want to label someone guilty to show that they don’t tolerate rape?

    NO ONE should be made to feel unsafe on campus. Women and men should not feel unsafe that they might be raped. And women and men should not feel unsafe that they could be unfairly accused of rape. There needs to be a middle ground. I expect Brown to have a ZERO TOLERANCE police on a convicted rapist. And I expect that the accused actually have the opportunity to go through a fair process and investigation!

    I now feel unsafe to express myself sexually on campus. This policy needs to change Brown.

    • Alyssa B

      so well,said. The only thing keeping each person on campus from being suspended is lack of accusation by another, whether true or not. I do not feel safe on any counts. T

      • Allegra W

        I, too, feel unsafe on a campus where one person’s allegations, not proven by trial or adjudication but that reveal my name to the general public, can ruin my reputation by going viral on the Internet. It makes me scared to live in such a world.

  • Josh

    For shame, Margaret Klawunn and Allen Ward — two individuals who have years and years of history of covering up and making light of sexual assault and brushing related issues under the rug, as evidenced throughs years of similar coverage by the BDH. I would hope that alums visiting College Hill this spring for Brown 250, etc., make their voices heard. The days for these two at Brown– and in higher education more broadly — should be numbered. Brown should be a leader in the promotion of more progressive community values, not a place where sexual violence is insulated.

    • Aisha

      Have alums join students in signing a complaint to be lodged with OCR, for violation of Title IX by Brown university. Yale and Dartmouth students and alums have done so successfully. Columbia and Harvard are going through the same thing. As Josh suggests, we should add the objective of destroying Klawunn and Ward, in the exercise.

  • Alum

    why hasn’t anyone stopped to question the culture from which this
    arose? Why not examine the hook-up culture without dating, without
    relationships, without courtship? Isn’t that what these two engaged in
    before the rape? Wasn’t the case below by “GuysGetScrewed” a product of
    this culture? Wasn’t Adam Lack a product of this as well? Has anyone
    noticed that these hook ups almost always occur in the context of
    alcohol or parties with alcohol? Why is everyone so oblivious to this?

    Maybe we should change “no means no.”

    Rather our new adage should be, “No AND Yes means no. Even if she is sober.”

    What’s
    wrong with a date with girl without alcohol and without going to bed?
    What’s wrong with just enjoying a movie, dinner at paragon, and talking?
    What’s wrong with dressing up and enjoying a clean evening? Is there
    anything wrong with spending the evening admiring her pretty curly
    blonde hair? What’s wrong waking up the next morning thinking about
    love?

    Is that so repulsive that the preference should be for
    drunken carnality with the odor of Jack Daniels and vomit? Should we
    unilaterally prefer waking up the next morning with that awful feeling
    of a hangover and that sinking feeling of dirtiness? Oh yeah, and you
    have to wash that stain on your shirt?

    Honestly, has anything good
    ever come out of any hook ups? Look back, and honestly ask, when has
    anything good come out of this… ever? Are there any BDH articles with
    guys or girls raving about how their grades went up because of hooking
    up? Has anyone discovered how their depression or anxiety issues
    heretofore undiagnosed is now suddenly cured because of hooking up?

    Before
    I went to college, my parents told me that when there’s a lot of
    drinking on a college, it really means there’s *nothing else to do.*
    When someone is promiscuous, it really means s/he never received a lot
    of love and/or attention. (i use both genders here deliberately).

  • http://silver0rib.tumblr.com/ Holly Eskew
  • EdithTW

    The Lena Sclove story continues to make for sensational press, but there is ZERO evidence that anything Lena recounts actually happened. The accused young man has been tried and convicted on the Internet without a shred of evidence. Lena had made certain that no evidence is available. No bruises, no evidence of neck injury, no witnesses, no weapon, no police report. Just her sensational story that has gotten her into the limelight as an “activist”. It’s all just too convenient.

    Meanwhile, Iunderstand that he had at least two witnesses who were prepared to testify at the Brown hearing on his behalf – they were barred by legal technicality.

    Lena got what she supposedly wanted from the start – he is not returning to campus.
    What more does show want? Given the limelight that Lena has come to enjoy, with continuing national exposure, I’m beginning to question her entire story. It’s a travesty that women who deserve support against sexual violence are going to be hurt when
    Lena’s story unravels. And I predict it will;

  • Brown Senior
  • Chod
  • Shira

    Opening New Front in Campus-Rape Debate, Brown Student Tells …
    chronicle.com/article/Opening-New-Front-in/147047/
    Jun 12, 2014 – Lawyers for Daniel Kopin wrote in a letter on Wednesday that their client wanted the federal agency to have a full account of the situation when …