College Hockey:
Report: Williams player accused of sexual assault from 2012 incident

According to WBUR in Boston, a former Williams student claims she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed member of the Williams men’s hockey team in October 2012.

The student, Lexie Brackenridge, and her family are accusing the college of not handling her case and claim properly. She agreed to allow WBUR to identify her for its story despite a general policy to not identify victims of sexual assault.

“My rapist was suspended for three semesters after being found guilty of sexual assault,” Brackenridge said in the report.

She asked why her alleged assailant was suspended rather than be expelled.

“As they said, an expulsion would ruin their life and they weren’t looking to do that, never mind that my life had been openly ruined by this man,” Brackenridge continued.

WBUR said in a disclaimer that it is not naming the alleged assailant because no criminal charges were filed. The alleged assailant’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, told WBUR that his client disputes the allegations against him but is under a confidentiality agreement with the school.

Brackenridge, who has since transferred to Columbia University, said at one point, she was harassed by other members of the hockey team.

“And one of the main occurrences, when it really, I would say hit its peak, was when they surrounded me and started throwing beer cans at my head and screamed that I should have kept my mouth shut,” she said, noting that the beer cans were full.

Brackenridge added that the witnesses were the hockey team and one woman who later started dating one of the players.

The next morning, Brackenridge said she reported the assault, but the college never disciplined the hockey players.

“And I think that the way in which the Williams administration handled it, it made it exceedingly clear that I was not welcome on that campus and that I was essentially being used as an example of why people should not come forward on that campus,” Brackenridge said.

Williams coach Bill Kangas did not return a request for comment from WBUR.

A school fundraiser told WBUR that he’s concerned about the number of hockey players at the school that come from junior hockey.

The alleged assailant played a year of junior hockey in Canada before enrolling at Williams.

“The structure, recruiting policy and demographics of their hockey team appears to be an incubator for trouble,” school fundraiser Ken Hillman told WBUR. “In looking at the roster of the Williams College [men's] hockey team, eight of the 24 members of the team list junior hockey instead of their high school. Those eight students have spent up to three years playing junior hockey in a minimally supervised environment. And I look at taking that dynamic and putting it into a small rural campus like Williams as a powder keg for trouble.”

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  • Scott Neagle

    Rape culture on campus and especially in college athletics is a huge problem that needs to be addressed aggressively and immediately, but blaming junior hockey is just stupid. Plenty of rapists never play junior hockey, and I’m certain that junior hockey players are no more violent than prep school hockey players.

    • bronxbomberz41

      What I think is missed in this case isn’t so much that they were junior hockey players, I think it has more to do with the coddling and entitlement that higher-end athletes get now. They are semi-professional athletes, and their entire lives are centered around the sport, and all other things are secondary, and they are often given what they want.

      • DBCII

        I played hockey at Williams and assure that while hockey is a big part of our lives, it is not the most important thing while at the school. There are many players at Williams, Amherst, Middlebury etc. that have opportunity to play at programs where hockey is more central to the experience, but choose not to because of the academic opportunity at those schools. There are always exceptions, and there were some on my own teams, but don’t assume that this is the norm at Williams or any other school.

  • 4life4america

    What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    • DBCII

      I agree. It doesn’t look like he was even charged criminally. The school is a private institution and can do what it wants in terms of dealing with this, but at no point in the article or anything else I have seen on this has there been one shred of evidence that this kid was guilty.

  • jdhockeyboyz

    Why were criminal charges never filed? It appears the entire incident was dealt with by the school admin and not law enforcement.

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