sexual assault


Two survivors of sexual assault will testify Monday before a statehouse commission aimed at curbing sexual violence on college campuses.

Commission member Peg Langhammer directs the nonprofit Day One, which helped to arrange the victims’ testimony. Langhammer said they will share details from their personal experiences and discuss what happened after the sexual assault.


At Brown University, a campus-wide survey shows one in four female undergraduates said they had experienced some type of unwanted sexual contact. Further, the survey found ten percent of female undergraduate students had experienced attempted rape. For female graduate students, that number was eight percent.

In a statement Brown's President Christina Paxson said, “[t]he results of the survey establish a clear baseline against which we can assess ourselves going forward."


A Brown task force on sexual assault has completed its recommendations for the university. They’re aimed at improving the way the university responds to complaints of sexual violence.

The task force urges Brown to adopt a single policy on sexual assault, dating violence, harassment and stalking. The group says the university should centralize the process for handling complaints in a single office.

John Bender / RIPR

Local leaders have announced the launch of a statewide task force to deal with sexual assaults on college campuses. The issue has been getting increased national attention in recent years.

The task force is comprised of local law enforcement, medical professionals, and representatives from Rhode Island colleges and universities.  They’re tasked with developing new policies to better handle sexual assaults involving college students.  Often, colleges deal with sexual assault internally, and law enforcement is not involved unless a victim wishes to press charges.

In response to recommendations from a university panel, Brown has announced it will immediately begin using trained investigators to look into allegations of sexual misconduct on campus.

The university said other changes include the assigning of a dean to any student involved in the campus hearing process, and a new website to provide resources on sexual assault.

Brown has been reviewing its policy for handling allegations of sexual assault after a student went public with her concerns about the process.


Brown University has sanctioned two fraternities, saying they created an environment that "facilitated sexual misconduct" by failing to monitor parties and failing to properly safeguard the service of alcohol.

Phi Kappa Psi will loose recognition for four years, including the loss of its housing, effective immediately.

Sigma Chi has been sanctioned with probation until fall 2016. The fraternity cannot sponsor social events, or conduct recruitment, rush, or initiation processes.


Sexual violence is a problem at Brown University, and university officials should take immediate action to improve the process for responding to sexual assault, according to an interim report from Brown’s Task Force on Sexual Assault.

The report includes more than two dozen recommendations, including the adoption of trained fact-finders to investigate reports of sexual violence.

A teacher at Chariho High School has been arrested and second time and faces additional charges stemming an alleged relationship with a student.

Paul LaFrance was charged with another count of third degree sexual assault for an incident that allegedly occurred in his West Greenwich home. He has also been charged with possession of child pornography and giving indecent materials to a minor.

Brown University says it is investigating potential criminal activity after a student tested positive for the date rape drug known as GHB.

Brown notified students on Saturday about the positive test result, saying testing for a second student is still pending.

The two students allege they were served drinks spiked with some kind of drug at a fraternity party in October. One of the students also reported she was sexually assaulted. Brown has suspended the fraternity.

Brown University has sent out a notice to students about another alleged sexual assault on campus. Brown's student newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald reported an email went out to students last week describing an alleged sexual assault involving a fraternity.


Attorney General Peter Kilmartin hosts fellow AG’s from across the Northeast for a two-day conference addressing sexual assault on college campuses. The group will work to determine how law enforcement can do a better job investigating campus sexual assault.

After an investigation, a grand jury has decided against indicting two Brown football players accused of sexual assault.

"There will be no charges stemming from the incident," according to a statement from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.

The allegations were brought by a student at Providence College. She told police she started feeling groggy while hanging out with friends at a Providence bar. When she woke up, she said she found herself in a Brown dorm room, and there, she alleges, the football players sexually assaulted her.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

A grand jury will not indict two Brown University football players who were accused of sexual assault by a student at Providence College. Universities around the country are facing controversy over how they handle sexual assault. Brown is one of more than 70 colleges under federal investigation.

Critics say colleges should do more to protect students and punish perpetrators of sexual assault. Brown officials have been reviewing their policy, and new students arriving on campus this week will receive more training on sexual assault.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Conflicts of interest in the awarding of state grants, violence in Providence, sexual assault allegations on college campuses -- those are the topics on this week's Political Roundtable.  This week, Brown University political science professor Wendy Schiller, and Associated Press reporter Erika Niedowski  join the discussion.  Weekend host Chuck Hinman hosts.

No one is saying why federal officials have launched an investigation into Brown's handling of a sexual assault complaint, but the school is one of 68 around the country facing increased scrutiny over the issue of sexual violence.

Campus officials have struggled to strike a balance between the rights of students who say they are victims of sexual assault and the rights of their alleged attackers, who often have not been found guilty of any crime.