It seems like the Violence Against Women’s Act was re-signed so very long ago. President Obama signed this important legislation into law on March 7th in which many are hoping will curb attacks against women nationally. We could only hope. But at the University of North Carolina, it appears they are unaware of such legislation being signed, let alone it even being introduced or even discussed in the media, on television or even debated throughout various political battlegrounds both for and against this important and historic law.
Attorney Clay Turner of Chapel Hill North Carolina, sent a letter Monday to The University of North Carolina [UNC] Chancellor Holden Thorp, advising the school of the complaint that his client, Landen Gambill filed with the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Gambill says the school expelled her for retaliation against her speaking out publicly about the rape and assault on the campus. Attorney Turner wrote to Thorp saying he was “to demand that you immediately end this reckless prosecution. The retaliatory charges against my client are inappropriate, unconstitutional and utterly without merit.”
Ms. Gambill has yet to identify the alleged offender but the Chancellor and the Board has stated that she violated the honor code by creating an environment that’s intimidating for him. FOR HIM… The accused!
After a hearings board cleared him of sexual assault, they did find him guilty of a much lesser charge of harassment but no criminal charges were filed.
Mr. Turner lashed out saying, “In speaking out for change at UNC, Ms. Gambill is not ‘harassing’ or ‘intimidating’ her abuser, whom she has never named. “Rather, the university’s decision to press charges against Ms. Gambill has tragically provided her abuser with the opportunity to harass and intimidate her” despite a no-contact order issued against him last May.
This makes the third such complaint against the University in which they are being accused of “under reporting” crimes on the campus. Also, Gambill and five additional women in January filed a Title IX complaint with the office of civil rights, saying UNC-Chapel Hill mishandles sexual abuse cases.
The school has denied any wrongdoing however, and continues to stand by its decision in expelling Ms. Gambill. But this will not go away. It has now gained national attention from Melissa Harris-Perry of MSNBC and others, so the heat on UNC’s Board will get hotter before cooler.
No, this story will not go away but the Chancellor is. Thorp is resigning in June to become the chief academic officer of Washington University in St. Louis.
The school this month hired two new employees to investigate sexual assault allegations and to help victims.