Revisiting the 2015 Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Revisiting+the+2015+Sexual+Misconduct+Allegations

In April of 2015, there were two documented instances of Sexual Misconduct in Nelligan Hall, according to the college’s crime log. One allegedly occurring at 1 am on April 17, the morning following Dolphy Day; and the other on April 22. Since The Dolphin originally reported on the misconduct incidents at the end of the 2015 Spring semester, more information has been released by the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department.

Former Le Moyne student and former member of the men’s basketball team, Garrett McCarty, was accused of sexual misconduct in both of the instances documented in April. Ultimately, he was not charged with Sexual Assault in either case, according to an article published by Syracuse.com in May.  

According to Onondaga County Detective John Seeber, the allegations were both made by female students who McCarty had prior relationships with. No charges were filed concerning the misconduct incident on April 17, since detectives found the encounter was consensual and there was no evidence of a criminal offense.

McCarty was charged with second-degree criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor for the allegations made on April 22, and was arraigned in Salina Town Court.
Seeber said no sexual contact took place.

When asked why students were only informed of the incidents after April 22, Le Moyne’s Title IX Coordinator, Ann Bersani, explained that an email was only sent to students based on the provisions of The Clery Act.

“The Clery Act governs when and how we send out the timely notification emails,” said Bersani. “The Clery guidelines specifically note location, on campus or not, the nature of crime, and if there is a continuing danger or threat to campus community. The guidelines also dictate what should be included in the email regarding prevention of future instances.”

Bersani also explained that when an incident of sexual misconduct is reported, the case is only handed over to the police department if that is what the victim wants.

It is not reported to the police directly unless the person who reported the sexual misconduct would like us to call the police, or if there is something that meets a threshold of being a continuing threat to the campus community,” said Bersani. “When an incident is reported, we meet with the student and review the options and resources that are available to them.”

Since last year, due to the passing of Governor Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” legislation, Le Moyne and colleges across New York State have now adopted new policies and specific language surrounding sexual misconduct on college campuses.

The new law outlines a specific definition of consent, “yes means yes”. This means both parties must say yes through words or actions in order for there to be clear consent.  

“Silence or lack of resistance, in and of itself, does not demonstrate consent,” the law reads.

The law also states an alcohol and drug immunity policy when a student reports an incident. Meaning, students won’t get in trouble for alcohol and drug violations if they report a misconduct issue. This encourages victims to speak up, since more than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

As for Le Moyne, upon coming to campus for orientation freshmen are educated in sexual assault through the Relationships 101 program, where students watch a presentation and then participate in a discussion about sexual misconduct and assault in small groups separated by gender.

“I’m glad that we dedicate almost an entire day for learning about consent and healthy relationships.  I do have some critiques of Relationships 101, however,” said senior Resident Advisor LeeAnne Pedrick. “I think it would be beneficial to have integrated break out sessions with boys and girls together, also led by male and female RAs and moderators.  It is important for males to hear certain messages and stories from women, and vise versa.”

Pedrick also argues, that while the Relationships 101 is a great educational program, more impact could be made if all students [ including transfer students] and staff members were put through the sexual assault training that Residents Advisors and freshmen participate in.

“We have this campaign called ‘It’s On Us’ and it really is on us to educate each other on how to handle issues of sexual assault, what consent means and how to be an active bystander,” said Pedrick. “RAs and administrators aren’t the only ones who will come across a survivor of sexual assault, more people in leadership positions have to have that sort of training as well.  I know that presidents of clubs are going through a training for it which will be great, but really everyone needs to know these things, or, at the very least, know where to go when something like this happens.”