Sexual assault victim comes forward to prevent future crimes

I kept telling him no and to stop. He wouldn’t, and continued to touch me. I couldn’t do anything, and eventually, I left and got out of there as quickly as I could.

For most of the students at Sam Houston, sexual assault on campus seem like something from a horror movie. For one student, it became a reality, and now she is telling her story to make it known that sexual assaults do happen here.

The student, a freshman at SHSU, was friends with the alleged assaulter before the attack, and had gone to visit him in his dorm late at night in the Fall 2012 semester. She said she was forced to stay after leaving her key in her dorm, which led to the beginning of her ordeal.

When I got there around 2 a.m., he was already drunk, the student said. I had already told him I wasn’t going to do anything, but he still kept trying to kiss me and do other things. I eventually fell asleep, but he woke me at 5 a.m., and this time he was completely sober. He started tugging at my hips, biting my neck and pulling at my hair very aggressively and abrasively. I felt scared, and like there was nothing I could do.
Over the next few days, the student said she felt numb and could not even think of what happened as an assault.

At first, I didnt even realize he had sexually assaulted me, but I did know that what he did to me was wrong, the student said. My mom asked me the next day if a boy had hurt me when she saw a bite mark on my neck and I automatically answered no, because I didn’t register what he did. It was only two days after that I realized how sore my body was and I knew that I had been sexually assaulted.

A week passed before the student decided to report the alleged attack to the police, which she said happened after she talked to her RA and the dorm supervisor, who advised her to report it to the University Police Department.

SHSU criminal justice major Ryan Jones was charged with sexual assault on Oct. 14, 2012, according to UPD Chief Kevin Morris.

During the week between the alleged assault and her report, the student said she was afraid to report it in case she had been mistaken in thinking it was assault.

What made me decide to press charges was knowing that he could do this to other girls, and he needed to be stopped, she said.

More than half of sexual assaults are never reported, and 38 percent are committed by friends or acquaintances, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

The student said she has been frustrated with both SHSU and with how long the court process takes. She said that SHSU did nothing to help her keep away from Jones after she reported the incident. The student says she was forced to move out of her dorm, which she says is unfair. She said that although she filed her report with UPD in October, she is frustrated that the case just went to the Walker County district attorney two weeks ago.

I feel as though I’ve been kept out of the loop the entire time, the student said. And I am so frustrated that nothing has been done in all these months to at least keep him away from me. I see him on campus all the time, and nothing can be done until the case goes to court.

Julia May, associate director of communications for SHSU, responded to the students frustration by explaining that nothing can be done unless the student files a report.

There is no documentation that a currently enrolled female student has filed any report with either Residence Life saying she felt she had to move out of a residence hall to avoid seeing another student on campus or with UPD saying she was anxious or fearful about seeing another student on campus, May said.

Dean of Students John Yarabeck said there are options to students who are victims of sexual assault or a similar situation.

We are most concerned with an alleged victims safety, Yarabeck said. We have options such as the counseling center on campus and even have several safe houses for those who find it necessary.

Yarabeck said that there was another option for students who did not want to go to UPD to file a report.

A student has the option to go through the campus judicial process in the Dean of Students office, where it be instead of or in addition to a report at UPD, Yarabeck said. The thinking behind the creation for this option is simply concern for the ordeal the student has already gone through, and making sure we can help instead of making it worse.

According Morris, the case against Jones is currently being reviewed by the district attorneys office to see if it meets the state of Texas definition for sexual assault, which will then result in the district attorneys decision to prosecute.

The district attorney and Jones lawyer did not return repeated calls for comment.

Leave a Reply