Students continue UO rape investigation protests

Students continue UO rape investigation protests

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by KGW Staff

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kgw.com

Posted on May 9, 2014 at 4:55 PM

Updated Friday, May 9 at 8:20 PM

EUGENE, Ore. – For a second day in a row, University of Oregon students and staff were rallying on campus to protest how the school handled recent rape allegations involving three basketball players.

On March 8, Brandon Austin, Damyean Dotson and Dominic Artis allegedly took a woman into a bathroom at an off-campus house party, where she claims they forced her to have sex with them. She told investigators the men raped her again when she went with them to an apartment.

After a criminal investigation, the Lane County District Attorney said there was not enough evidence to prosecute the men.

The players are not currently participating in U of O basketball team activities, and school officials said they won’t return to the team next season.

But in rallies Thursday and Friday, students and staff said the school didn’t take enough action against the alleged rape and that the athletic department failed to take swift action after the accusations.

They were also calling for the firing of basketball coach Dana Altman. 

On Thursday, protesters marched to the president's office, chanting "We want answers." They held copies of the student newspaper The Daily Emerald with the headline, 'We need to talk about rape." 

"Waiting a month or more to make a statement about something like this gives the strong message on the part of the school that they care a lot more about people who bring in money or who are powerful politically or social than people who aren't," said student Claire Aubin. 

Unlike a criminal case, where prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, the university only needs a "preponderance of evidence" before taking disciplinary action.

Protesters said the school’s silence about the recent allegations allows this type of behavior to happen.

On Friday, both school president Michael Gottfredson and coach Altman said they were asked by police not to act until after the criminal investigation was over. 

"If their number one priority is to keep us safe, they should be keeping us safe from people who are already here and who they already know about," said Claire Aubin of the UO Coalition to End Sexual Violence.

Aubin also said the athletic director claimed not to know about the allegations until mid-April, but she doesn't believe him.

The coalition said it would rally at Johnson Hall at UO every day at noon until the get the answers they're looking for.

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