A university has attracted almost universal criticism for defending at least six men who gang raped a fellow student, refusing to report them to police on the grounds that “they might commit suicide”.
The crime in question was perpetrated by six students of a Kyoto university, in their early to mid twenties, all of whom have been identified as sports specialists (including football and American football).
The men took turns raping a highly inebriated19-year-old girl at a drinking party, who had apparently passed out after drinking a large amount of beer. Reportedly, they held the door to the room into which they took the girl shut when a staff member attempted entry, and this aroused suspicions.
The victim reported the rape to the university, which investigated and suspended the perpetrators. It did not bother informing police though.
Police later acted to arrest the six, and all but one denied the crimes, claiming “she wasn’t drunk” and “she consented”. One however admits to the rape and confirms the details established by police.
In addition to the six, several other students are thought to have been present who might have intervened, but did nothing, and police are investigating this.
Whilst the crime itself has been given much coverage by the media, the astonishingly lenient response of the university has attracted equal attention, virtually all condemnatory.
The university first conducted an internal investigation, which concluded that “indecent acts” had indeed taken place. However, they did not report the matter to police, instead opting to merely suspend the rapists.
The university head explained that, had the case been made public, “the perpetrators might be in danger of committing suicide,” and due to these “educational considerations” they were not even expelled, and excused itself further by saying that it was not sure whether a rape had actually taken place, although it did not reveal details of its “investigations”.
He later defended his leniency further to students: “It was a heinous act which trampled on her rights. I wish to raise awareness of human rights, and for you all to reflect on this case. Maybe I’ll be called soft, but we also have a duty to allow these offenders to reform and go out into society at large,” referring to their suspension rather than expulsion.
It seems their victim will be expected to continue attending the same university as her rapists, assuming any of them manage to return to university in timely fashion after serving any ensuing sentences.
The reaction to the case, in particular the handling of the rapists by the university, has been one of outrage, with most observers concerned that the university is more concerned about protecting the perpetrators than it is about what appears to be a very clear example of a crime.
Via Itai News.
Most rape allegations are of course false, but in this case even leaving aside the matter of the confession and the witnesses, there are still the undeniably odd priorities of the university administration…