Sexual Assault Sparks Safety

2
2

Brian Timothy Russell was arrested by the UC Irvine police in response to a sexual assault report filed on Aug. 25. The incident took place the morning after a party at the Vista Del Campo apartment complex. Russell was booked at the Orange County Jail, where he later posted bail.
Since then, the UCI Police Department has finished its investigation and sent the case to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, where it is currently under review. Until the DA’s office decides whether it will prosecute, no additional details about the crime or the victim’s identity can be released to the public.
Russell, 21, is a math major at UCI. He and the victim met at the party at VDC. They are affiliated with a fraternity and sorority, respectively.
Although the Registrar has confirmed that he is still enrolled as a student, it is possible that his student status might change; Russell faces not only legal consequences but also potential academic consequences from the Dean of Student’s Office of Judicial Affairs. When contacted last week, Russell declined to issue any comments or statements about his situation other than to speak with his attorney, Robert Weinberg. Weinberg, however, could not be reached.
‘This is not an isolated incident,’ said Dr. Mandy Mount, director of Campus Assault and Resources Education (CARE). ‘It wasn’t even the only incident that week.’
Mount explained that the Aug. 25 incident was unique only because it became a timely warning. Countless other similar incidents remain unpublicized. Students are only sent timely warnings when such crimes are reported to the police and, unfortunately, the majority of sexual assault cases go unreported.
Although Mount was unable to confirm or deny whether the victim of this particular incident sought help at CARE, she did go on to say that she receives sexual assault survivors in her office every week, stating, ‘It’s always busy at CARE.’
Not every case is a new incident because survivors may come forward at any time. Since the beginning of August, there have been six new incidents. However, Mount pointed out that ‘[those new incidents] were during summer, when school is out.’
She also expressed her concern for ‘fall quarter [because it] has the highest rate of sexual assault incidents’ due to the influx of new students, parties, etc. Many students are under the misconception that they are impervious to harm because Irvine is known for being a safe city.
The Department of Justice recently provided the University of California with a $1 million grant over the next three years in order to develop more coordinated responses and prevention techniques against sexual assault and campus violence. Although $1 million for all 10 campuses for three years may not be as much, Mount agrees that it is a step in the right direction. She hopes to compile records to find out if there is an increasing trend in sexual assault at UCI in the near future.
More information about CARE can be found at
http://www.care.uci.edu.

In this article