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Update to Campus on Sexual Assaults

February 28, 2012

DATE: February 28, 2012
TO: Campus Community
FROM: Royce C. Engstrom, President
SUBJECT: Recent Assaults – Sequence of Events

I want to clarify the sequence of events surrounding the reported assaults of February 10. My point is to assure you that the University addressed those events in a timely and appropriate manner. As always, our concern is for the safety of our students and the community.

The first event was reported to UM Public Safety early in the morning of February 10. It was NOT reported as a sexual assault, and indeed was not a sexual assault. It was an incident of giving alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor. UM Public Safety reported to the City Attorney’s office on that day. Public Safety transmitted the report to the Dean of Students the next working day, Tuesday, February 14. That same day, the Dean contacted and interviewed the victim, and wrote the alleged perpetrator and scheduled a meeting with him. On that day, the Dean requested from the victim a written report so that the Dean could pursue a Student Conduct Code investigation against the perpetrator.

That victim returned with her written report on Friday, February 17, and was accompanied by another woman, who DID on February 17 report a sexual assault by the same perpetrator that had occurred on February 10. On that very day, February 17, the Dean contacted the alleged perpetrator by phone, informing him of the charge of sexual assault. Because the two events were connected, the University did issue a “timely notification” as is required by the Clery Act. The University and the Missoula Police Department were in communication that day as well.

As is required by federal law, the University cannot and did not release the names of alleged victims or perpetrators to police. The victims did go to the Missoula Police subsequently, and the matter is under investigation. My understanding is that the perpetrator has left the area.

We had a productive meeting February 24 with the Mayor and Missoula Police Department to continue the discussion about how we can work together to continually improve communication and education. That will be an ongoing discussion.