What Oregon State Knew on 1998 Gang Rape Allegation

January 2, 2015

Oregon State University this year apologized for not taking seriously allegations of a gang rape made by a woman about four men, two of them Oregon State football players, in 1998. The Oregonian revived interest in the case with an interview this year with the woman who brought the charges. And that led the university to apologize, and to note how difficult it would be today to revive the case in any legal sense. A new article in the newspaper details just how much information Oregon State had at the time the charges were first made (it turns out a very detailed account), and why no prosecutions took place. A summary from the article puts it this way:

"The school never responded after she reported the assault. Pervasive conflicts of interest clouded judgment. The betrayal included hasty and questionable decisions made by local police and the district attorney's office. Evidence was destroyed years before the statute of limitations expired -- despite the strong urging by a deputy district attorney to preserve it. OSU insiders acknowledged problems in the way sex assaults were reported and handled back then, but no one seemed to care deeply enough about Tracy [the woman who made the charges, and who spoke to the newspaper with her name] to do anything about it. Officials involved portrayed a campus administration consumed with fundraising and with protecting its own image as it tiptoed around the controversy."


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