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Bossong on Berkshire DA Candidate Forum

Meg Bossong ’05, director of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, writes:

During the Berkshire County district attorney forum on July 31, the candidates for DA were asked about two campus sexual assault bills pending in the Legislature.

In his response, Paul Caccaviello chose to describe the complex problem of campus sexual assault by pointing to Williams College, specifically, for failing to report incidents of sexual violence to the criminal legal system and to advocate for the legal rights of student survivors of intimate violence.

Mr. Caccaviello’s assertions are patently and categorically false. His own predecessor, David Capeless, refuted this point in a lengthy interview with iBerkshires in 2014, saying “My understanding from talking to [Williamstown Police] Chief [Kyle] Johnson is that when [Williams] gets incidents, they report it to the police. Even when the victim doesn’t want to talk to the police, they tell the police just so they know. Unfortunately, there’s been a misunderstanding of what colleges are doing. It’s too easy to think that they have every reason to suppress the idea that there are assaults on their campus. But they’re not suppressing the information.”

To be effective in advocating on behalf of crime victims, advocates — whether on campus, in community-based agencies like the Elizabeth Freeman Center, or in the DA’s own victim-witness advocacy program — have to help victims understand their options, and the benefits and barriers to accessing them. Williams presents students with all their legal and disciplinary options, and supports them in accessing those, either directly or via connection with off-campus resources.

Survivors of violence often weigh whether they can endure the publicity and pain of a criminal proceeding. That self-searching, at the same time they are reacting to and trying to begin their recovery from trauma, has to include a consideration of whether a criminal complaint is likely to lead to a conviction.

The DA’s office makes the final choice about whether to pursue prosecution in cases of sexual violence that occur in Berkshire County. This includes cases affecting students of the four colleges located here. Mr. Caccaviello needs to tell the voters of our county how many cases of peer-to-peer, alcohol-involved sexual assault and rape his office has chosen to bring to trial, and how many cases they have pleaded out to lesser, non-sexual offenses or agreed to continue without a finding.

With that information, the voters of Berkshire County can decide on Sept. 4 whose advocacy has come up short.

Hmmm. I confess to not following the politics of this closely. Thoughts:

1) Caccaviello does not strike me as the prettiest flower in the bouquet. Should we root against him?

2) Bossong is a friend (?) of EphBlog, so we are on her side in general despite (or because?!) she blocks me on social media.

3) Internal party politics are confusing. (Berkshire County is now a democratic stronghold, so whoever wins the primary will be the next DA.) Caccaviello may be smart to cast Williams College as the villain.

4) Who does Bossong favor? Who does Williams, as an institution, favor? Hard to know! The Berkshire DA has had very little to do with Williams, at least over the last few years (decades?). But a more activist DA, especially one who aspired to higher office and who wanted the (free) press associated with taking on the local giant, could be a giant headache for President Maud Mandel. Imagine a trial like Gensheimer/Foster every year . . .

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#1 Comment By PTC On September 5, 2018 @ 12:53 pm

http://www.iberkshires.com/story/58252/Harrington-Claims-Victory-in-Tight-District-Attorney-Race.html

The more traditional law and order vote was split between the other two candidates (Caccaviello & Knight) for a Harrington victory, that relied partially on turnout and voting in Williamstown.

Harrington has no experience and is a social justice warrior. Not sure how that will fit in with law enforcement and the prosecution of crime generally, but she will leave Williams alone, as the liberal college town represents her base.

She appears to have a real issue with veterans (like me), who she awkwardly lumps into a “special court” category with drug addicts.

All politics is local, and the county elected a pure politician as DA.

#2 Comment By dcat On September 5, 2018 @ 2:30 pm

It looks like the county voted for a defense attorney for DA. Dismissing her as a “pure politician” for winning an election that all of the candidates were running for seems like sour grapes. A politician won an election against other politicians. Well, who will inform the church elders!?

And would someone please explain to me where I can read the conservative playbook for when to invoke “social justice warrior”? Is it something other than an intended ad hominem?

And you claim that the traditional law and order vote was split, but the article you linked indicated that Knight was running as the most progressive candidate. I don’t know those local politics, at all. But it seems like a reasonably respected lawyer just won an elected position almost universally held by lawyers and that your assertion that the winner only emerged because she split the vote ignores that arguably the most progressive (and most experienced) candidate in fact came in third and might well have cost the winner as many or more votes than your preferred candidate.

#3 Comment By dcat On September 5, 2018 @ 3:34 pm

Social justice warrior is description of her aggressively liberal platform.

Which is fine. Maybe she’ll do a good job.

And no experience in criminal cases- well, I guess she has done like six. so I stand corrected- is a big deal for a DA. You can transition from defense to prosecution easily if you have trial experience in criminal court- which she does not. She is going to be running an office full of trial attorneys who have to prosecute criminal cases.

See opinions below that point to the validity of my thoughts on this race.

https://theberkshireedge.com/harrington-has-vision-commitment-determination-for-das-office/

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/no-faking-experiencecaccaviello-has-it,549253

Nothing ad hominem about her being a social justice warrior. Nor is that a necessarily a pejorative term. It is an easy way to denote that she is for major liberal reforms involving social justice. And “no experience” is an easy way to sum up the fact that she has next to no time in criminal litigation.

All good again, perhaps she will do well working with the police and other prosecutors. Depends on how she brands herself in terms of support for cops and victims.

#4 Comment By PTC On September 5, 2018 @ 3:38 pm

I responded but it was not posted… think I may have used your screename by accident in the rush.

No, I am not your troll!

She is not a criminal attorney.

Social justice warrior is not ad hominem or pejorative, it describes her platform. Which is fine. Perhaps she will indeed excel and do well running an office full of criminal prosecutors and working with police.

Lets hope she does… we’ll find out.

#5 Comment By PTC On September 5, 2018 @ 4:38 pm

“And would someone please explain to me where I can read the conservative playbook for when to invoke “social justice warrior”?””

I fail to see how invoking it is derogatory- especially when it fits. It is a good label to run on in Berkshire County, in fact, it got her elected.

For the record, this is what it looks like… from the candidates webpage.

“What am I fighting for?

I am running because I am the passionate, practical, progressive leader that Berkshire County and Massachusetts needs. I understand the challenges the district faces because I have been on the front lines of dealing with them.

I started my legal career representing people on death row in Florida. That experience gave me an intimate understanding of the underlying causes and reasons why people become involved in the criminal justice system. Untreated mental health problems, childhood trauma, poverty, and addiction are the main sources of individual and family struggle. The criminal justice system spends significant resources on prosecuting and incarcerating people, rather than what would be a fraction of the same resources on programs that would help people and would prevent people from committing crimes. I see the same cycle here in MA, especially around opioid addiction.

As District Attorney, I would be in a position to reallocate resources from incarcerating people to supporting programs that would prevent people from committing crimes.”

http://www2.democracyforamerica.com/endorsement_applicants/1542-committee-to-elect-andrea-harrington

All good about town.

#6 Comment By dcat On September 5, 2018 @ 6:07 pm

“Social justice warrior” has become a go-to pejorative for those on the right, which is why those on the right are the only ones who use it, always t desccribe those they oppose. Her platform does not use that phrase. Her platform indicates compassion and a concern about justice. She does not call herself a “social justice warrior,” which, again, is only used by people who think they are being snide (but at least most of them own it — you are trying to weasel your way around your own intent. )

Wait, is she not a criminal attorney? Her own platform says she began her career defending death row inmates. Is she lying? Is she wrong about what she was doing? Do you consider the DA position only to be one for prosecutors?

As for whether she can work with police, yes, we will see. Or we will see if they can work with her. That street goes two ways, and the burden isn’t just on her to make it work.

#7 Comment By PTC On September 5, 2018 @ 6:27 pm

dcat- Actually, the burden is on her to make it work. It’s her authority, and her office.

And is social justice warrior really just a term used on the right? I am, or at least was, an independent.

But Wiki said so. So I stand corrected.

I shall rephrase-

She is a DA who will strongly advocate for her belief in social justice, and will work passionately to reform the system in order to move resources from punishment to prevention. As DA, she will work with community partners to develop innovative, evidence-based programs to address the underlying causes of criminal behavior, which will then make our communities safer and to help people thrive and contribute to society…

#8 Comment By PTC On September 5, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

From the Pittsfield Mayor,

“My endorsement comes with the strong belief that Andrea and I share similar values and we are like-minded. We both believe in creating opportunities for social justice and for thinking differently about entrenched problems,” Tyer said.

“Our leadership styles are similar in that we seek diversity of thought, opinion, and professional experiences to inform our decisions. We believe in building any bridge to find a solution or to advance a progressive idea.”

So, I shall rephrase again, She is a progressive liberal who believes in creating opportunities (rather than being a warrior for) social justice.

Hard right bias removed. I shall now correct on my critique for her lack of experience.

She is an attorney who has tried four cases in criminal court. She was an advocate for social justice by assisting in criminal defense cases for appeals on death row in Florida. She was not a trial lawyer.

There is nothing wrong with that. I am not a fan of the death penalty either.

I stand corrected.

#9 Comment By Interloper On September 6, 2018 @ 3:29 am

The analyses of the Berkshire DA’s race I have read here is seriously ignorant. Why guess and spew nonsense when you have no idea of the issues at hand, what drove the election? Caccaviello was a seriously weakened candidate due to the general hatred for his predecessor DA David Capeless, who had resigned suddenly after orchestrating a shady hand-off to Caccaviello, his anointed successor, so Caccaviello could run as an incumbent in the election 6 months later.

Capeless was trashed during campaign for a number of unethical moves and behaving like a man with a God complex. Sending a 17 year-old kid away for a mandatory 2 year minimum for selling a pinch of weed to an undercover – one time – after he was lured within 1000 feet of an unidentified church preschool, while giving 1 year probation to a relative of the Pittsfield City Council President who was arrested with 63 lbs. of pot, lbs of mushrooms, a dozen weapons two of which were stolen, scales, bags, bulletproof vests, etc. Stuff like that.

If Judith Knight had not been in the race, Harrington would have won by a much greater margin. Personal grudge was at work, which is why Knight entered the race in the first place. To be frank, I respect her background and could have supported her, but for the obvious reason she entered the race – ego. Throughout the campaign, Knight took every opportunity to eviscerate Harrington’s relative lack of experience, while her criticisms of Paul Caccaviello were muted, most of which she deflected like a pro. Almost like she wanted Caccaviello to win. At least 2/3 of Knights votes would have gone to Harrington. The social media story tells it all, which I doubt many of you have followed.

Of more importance to Williams College is that the lack of prosecutions of sexual assault cases during the David Capeless era became the front-and-center issue in the last weeks of the campaign. Disturbing Clery Report statistics made it into the press, and as of now the Berkshire DA’s Office and Williams College are pointing fingers at one another as to why there have been so many rape claims in the last 14 years, all deemed credible by the College, and NONE was criminally investigated and then made it before a grand jury, i.e. the point at which it would make the news.

Andrea Harrington announced about three weeks ago that, if elected, she was going to take another look at every rape complaint that has been filed in the last 15 years.

This could get interesting.

#10 Comment By PTC On September 6, 2018 @ 7:45 am

Interloper-

Thanks for the great commentary.

Interesting. You believe that Harrington may go after Williams? Williamstown was a big win for her…

I disagree that the vote was split on the social justice side, and that Caccaviello’s vote was split with Knight over the experience issue. But you may be correct.

In any regard, the race could never be framed as experience v social justice because it was a three person race, so we will never know.

How will Harrington be able to get past the purple wall/ title IX to prosecute future (and past) rape accusations?

You believe she may really go after the liberal giant’s students on college sexual assault?

I have my doubts…

#11 Comment By PTC On September 6, 2018 @ 7:51 am

Interloper-

Great commentary.

I thought the vote was split on the experience side, rather than the social justice side. You may be correct.

The race was never be able to be framed that simply because it was a three way race. We’ll never know. Why are you so certain about the 2/3 number?

Harrington did campaign aggressively in North County, which helped her.

Do you really believe she is going to go after Williams students for sexual assaults that are not directly reported to police because of Title IX and the purple wall? Perhaps the college will change policy and strongly urge students to report such crimes, but I have my doubts.

#12 Comment By Interloper On September 6, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

PTC – From all that I have read online (iBerkshires, Berkshire Edge, Berkshire Eagle, etc.) and heard locally, Andrea Harrington’s questions about the handling of Williams College rape cases were directed at the Berkshire DA’s Office. I see no reason to believe she intends to “go after” Williams, but rather the criminal authorities who failed to find one prosecutable case among the raft of rapes and sexual assaults reported in Williams’ Clery reports. Meg Bossong claimed that such allegations are reported to the local police as a matter of course, which puts a lie to claims made by DA Caccaviello during the race.

However, I also read that Williams has a rather unique arrangement with the DA’s office. Campus sexual assault allegations are investigated strictly by the local police, with no involvement of the MA State Police. The same local police who recently received a $400k gift from Williams to put toward a new police station. The optics are…not good.

I don’t know what to make of all this, but it was shocking to learn that there have been 42 reported rapes at Williams in the last three years alone. Ultimately, I believe a very sobering question needs to be asked regarding the failure of any of these cases to be prosecuted (and become newsworthy) – cui bono?

#13 Comment By PTC On September 6, 2018 @ 3:39 pm

Reporting cases under title IX is not the same thing as the report of a crime. It is done with anonymity of both the perp and the victim.

It is impossible to prosecute the crime of rape/ sexual assault without an actual criminal complaint, which a clery report is not. There is nothing a DA can do about such a report.

#14 Comment By Interloper On September 6, 2018 @ 4:45 pm

PTC – Not my point at all. I’m well aware that Clery reports present a compilation of statistics, not actionable complaints.

What those statistics show is that in the last three years, there were 42 cases of (presumably) women reporting to the College that they had been raped. We are left to guess as to the disposition of virtually all of these claims, but we know how many resulted in criminal prosecutions – zero.

During the campaign, a 2014 iBerkshires interview of DA David Capeless and Meg Bossong surfaced. In the interview, Capeless made a number of astonishing statements. Read the interview and see if you can find them. But for the purposes of this discussion, the important quote from Capeless was this: “Right from the beginning, if a girl complains, college security notifies the police, the police notifies my office.”

This directly contradicts what Paul Caccaviello repeatedly claimed while on the campaign trail – that the Berkshire DA’s Office had been after Williams for a long time about the College’s failure to notify them of rape complaints.

Here is the interview. As to the other astonishing statements, here is a hint: Do you think a rape victim much cares if it was an aberrant moment that’s highly regretted by her rapist?

http://www.iberkshires.com/story/47351/College-Criminal-Processes-for-Sexual-Assault-Cases-Not-in-Conflict.html

#15 Comment By Interloper On September 6, 2018 @ 4:49 pm

P.S. I just read that entire interview closely. It was a joint CYA effort after the Lexi Brackenridge situation and it does not read well in the light of the current day. It’s even linked on the Williams website. Huh?

#16 Comment By PTC On September 6, 2018 @ 5:45 pm

Huh?

There is nothing a DA can do about a crime that is not reported. The general premise of the DA’s criticism of Williams is that they do not get victims to report the crime to law enforcement- when they report so many cases with confidentiality held.

This is one of the bigger criticisms of Clery in general, for the rights of both victims and the accused. There is no legal remedy.

Yes, the office f the DA gets anon reports that it can take no action on. Statistics.

That is the issue.

And?

#17 Comment By PTC On September 6, 2018 @ 7:48 pm

Interloper,

We need to stop talking past each other. Perhaps I misunderstood your original post.

(1) How does the election of Harrington change the dynamics of Clery for Williams and the office of the DA?

You seemed to suggested that this would somehow bring about more involvement from the office of the DA in terms of fair play and substantial justice for victims who are students?

If not, and you believe with her election that the office of the DA will back off, then I agree. She does not have the experience of being burned by this dynamic.

But if you think the reporting of these crimes to law enforcement will be better under her tenure, and she will be a capable prosecutor who is going to be able to charge the accused, and convict if guilty, then that is interesting.

If not, we are both essentially same the same thing from a different perspective.

Please explain.

#18 Comment By dcat On September 6, 2018 @ 8:49 pm

PTC —

You’re not talking past one another. You’re just full of shit, which Interloper is proving in ways that I only suspected as an outsider.

I am finding this endlessly amusing.

#19 Comment By Interloper On September 7, 2018 @ 12:10 am

PTC – I don’t understand the disconnect at all, but the question you pose completely misses the point of what I was saying. I’ll address that last

The point is this. 42 reported rapes at Williams over the last three years, zero prosecutions, and the only reason we’re hearing anything about it is because of the election cycle.

– In the LWV Williamstown debate, Paul Cacaviello accused the College of being an impediment to the prosecution of such crimes. That claim is flatly contradicted by the 2014 iBerkshires interview with former DA David Capeelss and Meg Bossong.

– Regardless, it is the Berkshire DA’s Office that has the authority and the mandate to investigate all serious felony allegations. They are not beholden to the whims of Williams, they have complete authority. Do you think it’s Williams College that has the authority to assign the Williamstown PD – and only the Williamstown PD – to investigate campus rape and SA claims? No MA State Police allowed?

– Your general proposition seems to be that the 42 non-prosecutions likely resulted from 42 victims who refused to give their names to the authorities or formally pursue criminal charges. You have no basis for saying that because you have no way of knowing how many cases have actually been brought and then closed prior to the grand jury stage.

– The truth is obviously very different. As Bossong’s demand to see the Berkshire DA Office’s data on the disposition of Williams cases implies, there were clearly some number of investigations that never led to prosecutions. That’s data that you and I would never learn on our own. When a case is investigated and deemed to lack of probable cause, the case diapers. No grand jury, so no official media report.

As for how the election of Harrington might change the dynamics of Clery between the College and DA’s Office, I’m confused by the wording of the question. But I can tell you this, it appears that under Harrington’s leadership, investigation of campus assaults will be taken much more seriously by the DA’s Office. For a start, all INVESTIGATED rape claims going back 15 years which were closed, will be given a second look. I suspect the days of the Williamstown PD holding exclusive investigative reign will also be ending, and none too soon. Bottom line is there are many avenues for improvement given that almost nothing appropriate was being done before.

What will be the ultimate impact on Williams’ Clery reports? As soon as a just case of rape is prosecuted, won and the perp sent off to pay his penalty, those numbers will come down noticeably. Fewer rapes will take place if people know the potential criminal consequences, something they haven’t known for 14 years apparently.

#20 Comment By PTC On September 7, 2018 @ 5:10 am

Dcat- Only time will tell if my perspective is wrong (full of shit). My guess is that this election will change nothing in terms of Williams reporting policies and the prosecution of cases. That in fact, the old DA was looking to take a more aggressive stance than the current elected one. That is counterfactual and we will never know.

Interloper is also making a guess. Neither of us has the insider information required to know.

What we will know, is if this changes. And as interloper states, we should know it relatively soon, given the number of instances. We will see it because it will mean some criminal cases being brought against students and or past students in relatively short order.

Fifteen years is a lot of cases if interloper’s general hypothesis is true- that students made criminal reports, and it was the DA that blocked the path to legal action. I agree with interloper that that would lead to a reduction in sexual assault on campus.

Interloper,

Interesting perspective. I don’t think that is how this will play out. My guess is that things continue as “normal.” But the normal may have changed.

Perhaps you are right, and that Williams students have been reporting these cases as crimes all along, and that Williams has been encouraging reporting to police, and that it is the DA’s office, not the college, that has been blocking prosecution.

I have my doubts that that is correct, especially given what the victims who have come out have said about the colleges involvement in the deescalation/ mishandling of past cases.

That too may change or have changed recently.

Time will tell, and I hope you are right.

My guess is, from reading the post, that David hopes you are wrong.

#21 Comment By PTC On September 7, 2018 @ 5:31 am

… and interloper, thanks for brining me down to earth and into an interesting discussion.

I am not a fan of the idea of a veterans court, which gave me bias against Harrington, especially when she clumsily lumped us in with drug addiction reform and drug court during a debate.

I got overzealous. No doubt about it.

I still believe she does not have the experience in criminal law and law enforcement in the area to do a good job. That her bend seems to be toward progressive reform, rather than the prosecution of cases/ previous rape cases… which may be one in the same? We shall see.

What is your perspective on that? Do you think the DA can be effective in a small system like Berkshire County without having prosecutorial experience/ criminal trial experience?

#22 Comment By PTC On September 7, 2018 @ 5:45 am

Interloper,

Also, she lacks experience in management generally. I think that combined with her lack of criminal trial experience will be hard to overcome.

To me, she is a person who is full of good ideas, but I distrust that those ideas will be well executed.

#23 Comment By Interloper On September 7, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

PTC – I typed out a long response earlier, hit submit and watched it disappear into the ether. I’ll recreate what I said piece-meal, as time allows.

First point. The facts I raise about the DA’s behavior are in no way meant to imply that Williams isn’t culpable as well. It’s not an either/or proposition. It’s easy to see how they both benefited by keeping SA cases out of the criminal realm – the Berkshire DA didn’t have to deal with difficult, murky cases involving (usually) intoxicated witnesses, and the College didn’t see it’s name in headlines alongside the word “rape”. They are both right to point fingers at the other, but they’re each leaving out half the story. If actual victims decide to come forward, or when Harrington gets around to reviewing previous rape investigations, we will learn more. But from a mile-high viewpoint, my read is that Williams College does just enough so it can say it follows the rules and looks out for victims, but the spirit of their behavior is anything but victim-centric.

Second point. Concerning Harrington, I share some of your concerns about her lack of experience, but I believe qualities such as character, integrity and decency should take precedence at this moment in time. Sure, she’ll likely be corrupted within a few years of assuming power, but at least for now we get an energized, morally fit person occupying what is arguably the most powerful position in the county.

With regards to her clumsy vet comment, it was idiotic but I’m certain there was no anti-vet animus behind it.

More later.

#24 Comment By PTC On September 7, 2018 @ 6:33 pm

Interloper,

Thanks. I think you are correct in your assumptions that it was a two way street.

As you know crime, and particularly rape, usually gets more difficult to prove as time passes. This is especially true if you are dealing with young students as victims and witnesses who have moved on in life and are now scattered all about the country.

I think digging up old cases will be tough, not just because of that fact, but also because while it is easy to say that you are going to go back in time during a campaign and right wrongs, it is another thing to do that after assuming an office like DA of the poorest county in MA. Berkshire County has two cities in real distress, particularly Pittsfield. Once she takes that chair, I doubt she and her staff will have time to re-asses old (and now cold) cases from Williams.

In terms of how she will treat future adjudication, I think that depends entirely on if the college has changed the dynamics and encourages reporting crimes right away, as well as works with law enforcement. I don’t think she has time or energy to try to bust into the purple bubble given her other responsibilities, unless either (1) the college supports it and (2) there is someone who has a solid complaint who goes forward with charges.

So I do not think the dynamic changes with her election. Caccaviello was very experienced in dealing with this dynamic and appeared to be sick of it. Yes, admittedly there was some bad blood.

Williams is very smart, and can slow roll this kind of thing extremely well if it wants to, especially with someone who has not seen this pan out in the past.

I believe that she won the election primarily in North County and in particular in Williamstown because; (1) she campaigned well here; and (2) Caccaviello threatened Williams. I don’t think she got the huge imbalanced vote here in Williamstown through a sense that she was going to robustly pursue campus crime. I think she got it in part because people felt Caccaviello had an axe to grind, which would lead to that very thing. Perhaps with a sense of unfair play… People here generally and genuinly protect Williams.

Anyhow, thanks again for the great responses and a very interesting opinion. We will be able to see how she does. It is going to be tough, but maybe she will shine?

There are not a lot of resources here, and some pretty severe rural poverty. Handling the narcotics crisis is a very difficult problem. It is tied to a lot of crime against property and violent felonies. While she may not consider users and small time dealers of heroin to be perpetrators of “malum in se” crimes, and may be looking for treatment and “drug court”, that position will be hard to maintain without becoming jaded when you see the same people over and over again, with connections to organized crime from Springfield, Holyoke, and the City.

Great stuff.

#25 Comment By Interloper On September 7, 2018 @ 10:33 pm

With respect to digging up old cases, I view the parameters differently. Firstly, she pledged to do this during her campaign, so she can’t NOT do it once elected. The pledge was noted by many. Second, once she does so, I suspect her first order of business will be to contact the victims directly and discuss their thoughts on the investigation into their complaints and their present wishes moving forward. If a single woman comes forward with a compelling argument that the investigative process was unfair, things could snowball quickly.

The idea that DA’s are forced to bow down to the purple wall is a false. With the stroke of a DA’s pen, MA State Police could become co-investigaors on all felony sex crimes committed at Williams. Instead, the school is allowed to police itself, supported by the barely competent local cops, the Williamstown PD. The DA controls that arrangement.

#26 Comment By PTC On September 7, 2018 @ 11:00 pm

Interloper,

I don’t see this happening. You may be right, but I will be shocked if she brings charges against any previous students. Even more shocked if she can convict.

Most cases in college involve intoxication and incapacity. The hurdle is high for lack of consent due to intoxication in MA.

We’ll see how it goes.

#27 Comment By PTC On September 7, 2018 @ 11:13 pm

I am suggesting the purple wall in the way you think I am.

It is the rules of title IX in general, and the way that plays into such cases at a place like Williams, where the student’s allegiance to the school is very high and the pressure to avoid “controversy” for the institution and another student is also high.

That is why the more prestigious colleges have high levels of reporting for Clery and very few criminal complaints, in my opinion. That won’t change unless the schools and other students avidly support victims filing criminal complaints.

It’s more cultural than cynical- as well as legal in terms of the way that the law has led to a separate track for in house reporting and punishment for serious felonies.

#28 Comment By PTC On September 8, 2018 @ 12:45 am

https://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/09/3rd_man_charged_with_attempted.html

This is probably the most high profile case currently pending.

#29 Comment By Interloper On September 8, 2018 @ 2:06 am

PTD – I do not believe that women fail to report rapes criminally because “the student’s allegiance to the school is very high and the pressure to avoid “controversy” for the institution and another student is also high.”

No way a woman says, “Hmm, I was raped…but I really like Williams”
No way her friends say “You’re ruining Williams, stop!”

Women fail to report rapes because they are likely guided away from that option at the most vulnerable time in their lives, by people who have influence. But as Meg Bossing implies, some have indeed filed criminal complaints and we know nothing about the resolutions. Only that there have been no indictments.

I have heard that the Caccaviello criticism of Williams College was a preemptive move because there is some sort of controversy brewing. We’ll see.

#30 Comment By PTC On September 8, 2018 @ 5:23 am

Interloper- Great point.

#31 Comment By PTC On September 8, 2018 @ 5:35 am

You should take up DDF’s offer and run a cover post on this topic with your perspective.