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.”