CRPD Investigating Possible Assault at Mt. Mercy

posted by WMT News / KCRG-TV9 - 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A Facebook post is going viral here in eastern Iowa with more than 2,000 shares in 24-hours. It's about the findings of a Mount Mercy University investigation into a reported sexual assault on campus.

A woman says she was raped by another student at a campus dorm in March. The woman says an ambulance took her to the hospital and doctors found the other student's DNA and injuries to her.

Mount Mercy responded to the woman in a letter Sunday saying there wasn't enough evidence to prove the other student violated the University's sexual misconduct policy.

The woman took her outrage to social media, and supporters have been sharing her account and filling Mount Mercy's Facebook page with their anger.

The author of that letter, Vice President of Student Success Nate Klein, pointed me to the University's response to the backlash. But that's all he would say.

That response says the school followed protocol in this situation and if more evidence is provided they can re-evaluate.

TV9 reached out to the Riverview Center in Marion about the difficulties in cases like these. The center offers sexual assault services like therapy or legal help.

Counselors said sometimes these situations are "he said, she said" and people tend to not believe a rape happened if they have a positive image about the attacker.

"Especially if you know the perpetrator and they're charming and they are well known in the community, they seem like a nice person. They don't want to believe that that person has done something wrong. So it's easier to believe 'Oh well this person is lying about it' instead of thinking 'Ih this person could do something so terrible,'" Kiandra Benson said.

In accordance with Title IX, each university must have a policy to address complaints against sexual harassment or assault.

According to Mount Mercy University's website, it's Title IX policy includes filing a police report and providing support services to the person who reported the incident.

Cedar Rapids Police confirm officers responded to Mount Mercy's campus for a medical emergency that night and are investigating what happened.

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