July 8, 2013 |
The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill is now facing a third federal investigation into its sexual assault policies. This time, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating allegations that UNC inappropriately retaliated against Landen Gambill, a sophomore at the university, after she publicly came forward about her rape.
Gambill was one of several students who filed a federal complaint against the university at the beginning of the year, alleging UNC has created a “hostile environment” for rape victims attempting to report sexual crimes. In February, the sophomore faced an honor code violation that claimed she “intimidated” her alleged rapist by publicly sharing the story of her sexual assault — even though she never named him, simply referring to him as an “ex-boyfriend.” Later that year, even after the male student in question had been found guilty of sexually harassing Gambill, he was reassigned to a dorm building “ in close proximity” to hers.
The new investigation will attempt to determine whether those two actions — subjecting Gambill to UNC’s honor court and moving Gambill’s assailant closer to her — constitute inappropriate retaliation. The honor code charge against Gambill, which could have resulted in her expulsion, has since been dropped. MORE