USC Students Condemn University's Handling Of Sexual Assault
Led by Tucker Reed, seven students from the 70-member group Student Coalition Against Rape—SCAR—gathered on campus to discuss their rape and sexual assault experiences and condemn how USC handled their sexual assault cases once they are reported.
Reed, who graduated from USC in 2012, is one of the leading figures in the ongoing federal investigation into University sexual assault practices.
“The process made me feel raped a second time,” Reed said about the way the University handled her case.
Last May, the group compiled 100 students’ detailed cases into a 150-page equal opportunity complaint with the U.S. Department of Education detailing multiple acts of "gross negligence" by the University and outlined the trauma individuals experienced during and after the assault.
Similar complaints were filed against other universities, including Occidental College, UC Berkeley, Dartmouth, Swarthmore and Yale.
Ari Mostov, a rising junior and SCAR member, took the microphone from Reed to share her sexual assault experience.
Mostov’s voice quivered as she recalled how she was raped last December by a fellow classmate, who she said did not climax during the attack because he was under the influence.
“The most horrifying thing was that the school did not consider this a crime and the LAPD did not consider this a crime because my rapist did not organism, even though California penal law states any penetration, any slight penetration, is rape,” Mostov said.
When asked why she did not report the attack right away, the junior said she was “scared for her life” because her attacker was someone “she knew very well and who is very graphic and demonstrated violent tendencies.”
SEE ALSO: Rape Goes Unpunished At USC
Flanked by handful of other students, SCAR Co-Founder Alexa Schwartz joined Reed and Mostov in sharing her traumatic sexual assault and also said the University did not do enough to punish her attacker or help her through the ordeal.
Mostov said she repeatedly asked the University to change her classes so she would not have to see her attacker face-to-face every week, but the University reportedly denied her request since it was five weeks into the semester.
She said she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder ever since the attack.
In a statement, USC said: "In all reported cases, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate disciplinary, as well as interim remedial, action.'' But the University warned, "The university's disciplinary process cannot and does not take the place of the judicial system. Any student victim of a crime has the option of reporting it to the Los Angeles Police Department.''
Mostov and other students claim that USC's gross negligence perpetuates the ongoing problem of sexual assault and rape on campus by not taking the cases as seriously as they should.
“I wanted this person to be expelled," said Mostov. "This is somebody who is dangerous and would have raped again if given the opportunity.”