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Nov 03, 2014 03:54 PM EST

Virginia Wesleyan College Admittedly Helped Sexual Assailant Transfer Schools


Virginia Wesleyan College (VWC) admitted in a court filing that they changed the disciplinary status of an expelled student found responsible of sexual to help him transfer.

According to the Huffington Post, a female student is suing VWC for $10 million in damages for helping her assailant. VWC filed two motions Thursday in Norfolk Circuit Court, one asking for the suit to be dismissed and another for Robert Roe, the former student identified as the assailant, to be named as a defendant.

VWU said it did in fact "assist [Roe] in seeking further studies," despite finding him responsible of sexual assault in an incident on Aug. 25, 2012. Roe was expelled, but VWC changed his status to "voluntary withdrew" in order to help him transfer to another school.

The school argued it did not cause any harm, emotional or physical, to the woman known only as Jane Doe with its actions. VWC instead says it was Roe who is solely responsible for hurting her.

"In one breath the school says the assault was abhorrent, but in the next breath they blame the victim, Jane Doe, by saying she 'assumed the risk and was contributorily negligent,'" Jonathan Halperin, Doe's lawyer, told the HP. "I am sure parents and students will find this position comforting."

In light of the kidnapping case of Hannah Graham, the HP published a report on how U.S. schools will do essentially what VWC did. Jesse Leroy Matthew, the prime suspect in Graham's abduction, left two different schools in Virginia after he was accused of sexual assault at each institution.

Full disclosure of potential crimes transfer students are accused of is not required. In most cases, the student's transcript may simply say "pending disciplinary action."

"It makes it worse," Katherine Rizzo, a sexual assault survivor at Northeastern University, told the HP. "The more people get away with it, the more power people think they have and the worse their attacks will get."

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