Loyola Students Angry At How Accused Rapist Roamed Campus For YearsBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Students at Loyola University Chicago are angry at how a former athlete was able to enroll and attend classes even when he was facing charges of sexual assault. Ben Holm is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in May 2013 while he was still a high school senior.
TIME reported that he has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and statutory rape charges on Dec. 5. He was sentenced to spend a minimum of 10 years in prison.
This outraged students at Loyola University Chicago. An online petition was even created to demand answers from the institution about how Holm was able to attend classes and even receive a scholarship by playing golf for three years amidst charges against him.
The petition slammed Loyola University Chicago for being silent. It also revealed how students are "disgusted" by the school's actions regarding the safety of its students.
It has since gathered over 1,200 supporters. Thomas Kelly, the school's senior vice president for administrative services, issued a statement about how a "student-athlete" committed a "gender-based violent crime" out of state and before he joined the university.
Kelly also noted that school officials were not aware of the crime previously. It was only until it gained media inquiries about Holm's recent conviction that the school reportedly knew of the case.
According to New York Daily News, Holm was said to have given his victim vodka and walked with her to a playground. Afterwards, the teen's three friends found him on top of her, with the victim clearly asking him to stop.
Holm is currently at Fulton County Jail in Georgia. He will be transferred to state prison.
Chicago Tribune added that the outcry comes at a critical time for American colleges when it comes to sexual assault. There have been several reports of sexual violence on campuses but it seems that the actions to correct the issue is still not enough to make students feel safe and secure.