sexual assault


RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A new law in Virginia will ensure that sexual assault victims are notified when the state completes the analysis of their rape kit.

The bill backed by Attorney General Mark Herring requires law enforcement to contact victims or their family members when they finish testing a PERK kit. Victims will also be able to get any law-enforcement analysis of the kit.

The new law was one two measures Gov. Terry McAuliffe highlighted during a ceremonial bill signing on Thursday. The Democratic governor signed the bills into law last month.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - A federal appeals court has ordered a lower court judge in Delaware to reconsider a claim from a Delaware prison inmate who says he was sexually assaulted by a correctional officer during a pat down in 2014.

DeShawn Drumgo claims Sgt. William Kuschel patted and groped inappropriately, then squeezed his genitals until the skin ruptured while other officers laughed and failed to intervene.

A federal judge granted summary judgment to the state after the defendants said Drumgo failed to file a grievance before filing the lawsuit.

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A series of kidnappings and sexual assaults of women has sent fear through New Castle County – especially University of Delaware students.

There have been three incidents so far with an armed masked man carrying out the attack.

He is described as 5-fee-7 inches, tall with a thin build.

The university has shared posts by the New Castle County Police Department along with safety tips but has not sent out an alert.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Data shows that thousands of rape kits in Maryland have not been tested.

Citing figures obtained under the state Public Information Act, The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland police have left over 3,500 of the kits untested.

Advocates for rape victims say that number shows that police are not investigating all sexual assaults cases thoroughly.

State lawmakers required police departments to report their figures this year to the attorney general's office and to explain why kits remain untested.

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NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police say a University of Delaware student reported that she was sexually assaulted.

Newark police say the 20-year-old woman went to the police department Sunday to report that she was attacked as she walked alone on Saturday night.

Police say the woman reported she was walking on Corbit Street near Wilson Road around 10:30 p.m. Saturday when a man approached her from behind and pushed her against a parked car. He sexually assaulted her, then fled on foot.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A spokeswoman for Old Dominion University says it is committed to treating victims of sexual assault with "care, professionalism and respect."

Giovanna Genard confirmed in a statement Thursday that the university has received a federal complaint alleging that school mishandled a student's rape case in 2014.

The complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education accuses campus police of preventing the woman from getting a medical exam to preserve evidence until after she was interrogated for almost eight hours.

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Much has changed since the Life Crisis Center in Salisbury opened as a rape crisis center forty years ago. Executive Director Michele Hughes tells Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush that a new task has been added to their list: Helping people after the death involved in a homicide. The center is holding a gala at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City to mark it anniversary.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is pledging at least $1 million in grants to help groups that serve victims of sexual assault in Baltimore after the Justice Department found the police department's responses to sexual assault "grossly inadequate."

The Republican governor said Thursday that the money represents immediate action to improve services to victims.

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Senate has unanimously approved a bill aimed at strengthening reporting of sexual assaults on college campuses.

The bill approved Wednesday requires employees of higher education institutions to offer to report sexual assault incidents to law enforcement officials if the alleged victim agrees. Lawmakers struck a previous version of the bill that required school officials to contact police regardless of the alleged victim's wishes.

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QUANTICO, Va. (AP) - A former Naval Academy instructor facing a possible court martial after a newspaper uncovered new evidence related to his convictions for indecent acts with female midshipmen walked out of his own preliminary hearing.

The lawyer for Marine Corps Maj. Mark Thompson called Friday's hearing at Quantico Marine Corps Base a "show trial." Thompson and his lawyers walked out of the hearing, which continued without him.

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A charge of attempted rape has been leveled against a 16 year male.

The incident occurred on March 14th when a 15 year female student in a home on Clear Lake Drive in Salisbury.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the Wicomico County Sheriff’s office says the boy attempted to sexually assault her but that she was able to fend him off and escape the home.

The paper says the boy has been charges as an adult with counts that include attempt second-degree rape.

This the second rape case that has surface recently in Wicomico County involving minors.

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A second alleged sexual assault has taken place in the Wicomico Public School system within the last two years – this time on the campus of James M. Bennett High School.

Unlike the previous assault this one was caught on a security camera in which a 15 year old female student is reportedly seen fighting off a male attacker.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the security camera prevented completion of the alleged assault.


There are more than 1-thousand rape kits that have not been tested in Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that a three page summary by the Criminal Justice Council found that the number of untested kits was 1,018.

The paper reports that legislation for testing the kits is not expected to make it out of this year’s legislative session.

State Senator Nicole Poore, who authored the measure that required the inventory, said there was not enough time in the session which ends by June.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Advocates are scheduled to rally in Annapolis in support for a measure to raise awareness about sexual assault in schools.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday in a Senate committee. The measure has passed the House of Delegates 133-6.

It would require the State Board of Education and certain nonpublic schools to develop and implement programs relating to sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention programs.

The Baltimore Child Abuse Center is holding a rally to bring together supporters of the bill.

There’s legislation in Delaware that would allow students the opportunity to report cases of sexual assault to the police in addition to school officials.

In addition, the measure would force colleges to make information about such incidents more public along with their outcomes.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that state Representative Kim Williams and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst announced yesterday that they are ready to act on the legislation.

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The University of Maryland Eastern Shore could be pulling the honorary degree given to actor Bill Cosby.

University President Juliette Bell issued a statement saying that was an option.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a number of universities and colleges have taken back their honorary awards in the wake of the claims by around 60 women who claim they were raped by the 76-year old entertainer over the years.

U.S. Naval Academy website

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden is urging students at the U.S. Naval Academy to be leaders in the fight against sexual assault.

Biden spokes Monday as he begins a week of appearance to discuss the problem on college campuses. Biden says midshipmen who will become officers are positioned to be leaders in confronting the issue.

Midshipman Shaquil Keels has been chosen to be on a national student panel for the "It's On Us" campaign, a White House initiative. Biden says the academy is stepping up by embracing the program.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The fraternity that was the focus of a debunked Rolling Stone article about a gang rape has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the magazine.

The Phi Kappa Psi chapter at the University of Virginia filed the complaint Monday in Charlottesville Circuit Court. It also names the article's author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, as a defendant.

The lawsuit says the November 2014 article made the fraternity and its members "the object of an avalanche of condemnation worldwide."

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Johns Hopkins University, one of more than 100 schools under federal investigation for their handling of sexual assault complaints, has unveiled a new sexual misconduct policy.
The policy, announced on Wednesday, includes existing procedures relating to handling sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking complaints, and introduces new policies. One such policy mandates that cases will be resolved by a three-person panel with two staff members and one legal professional.

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Governor Jack Markell put his signature on a measure called the Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III Child Protection Act.

It would beef up background checks for private schools and summer camps.

The requirements would use finger prints for a national criminal background check.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that it would ban those with a criminal conviction for a felony sexual assault or a misdemeanor crime involving a child from such employment.

BALTIMORE (AP) - The state of Maryland is helping colleges meet the requirements of a new law aimed at improving their response to sexual assaults on campus.

The Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention announced a $71,000 grant Wednesday to the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The funds will help pay a lawyer to train colleges, rape crisis centers and police agencies on the new requirements.

University of Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A task force has issued 21 recommendations to combat sexual assaults on Virginia's college and university campuses.

The recommendations from the Task Force on Combating Sexual Violence were submitted to Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Thursday. He created the panel last summer.

Many of the recommendations build on or complement existing programs and few require new legislation.

PIKESVILLE, Md. (AP) - Vice President Joe Biden says $41 million in federal funds approved by Congress will help clear rape kit backlogs across the country and solve crimes.

Along with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Biden toured a Maryland State Police forensic laboratory in Pikesville on Monday and addressed the importance of clearing the backlog of an estimated 400,000 rape kits that remain untested throughout the U.S.

Biden said the federal funding will help local and state law enforcement agencies test the kits and train personnel.

University of Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to assure that sexual assaults on college campuses are reported to authorities is advancing in the House of Delegates.

A measure is headed Thursday to the full House Court of Justice Committee for a vote after revisions in a subcommittee a day earlier.

It would require college faculty and administrators who become aware of an act of sexual violence to report it to the school's coordinator of compliance with the federal Equal Opportunity in Education Act, commonly known as Title IX.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Legislation to mandate reporting of alleged campus sexual assaults to police is advancing in the General Assembly.
A state Senate subcommittee approved a bill Monday submitted by Republican Sen. Richard Black of Loudoun County that would require any employee of a state college or university who learns of such an allegation to report it to a local law enforcement agency within 24 hours. Failure to do so would be a misdemeanor.

University of Virginia website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are far from consensus on legislation dealing with sexual assault on college and university campuses.

That was apparent at the end of a two-hour hearing Thursday by a Senate subcommittee wrestling with the issue.

The panel considered 10 bills, but was unable to reach any conclusions.

The flurry of legislation was spurred by several recent high-profile cases of alleged sex crimes on Virginia campuses.

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A commission has been convened by the faculty of the University of Delaware to make recommendations on improving the school system’s sexual harassment and assault policies.

The task force efforts range from looking at education and training programs and holding hearings to conducting an online climate survey to assess the prevalence of sexual assaults on campus.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the initiative comes in the wake of a rally last September held by hundreds of students who called for changes in the school system’s policies.

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - A national sorority advocacy group says the University of Virginia's suspension of Greek activities isn't the answer to resolving sexual assault and student safety issues.

The National Panhellenic Conference said Tuesday that it supports U.Va.'s plan to review the university's culture and practices and wants to be involved in addressing the issues. But the council says the suspension of sorority activities should be lifted.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia lawmakers are proposing new rules that would require university officials to report allegations of sexual assault to law enforcement personnel and prosecutors.

Three Republican leaders in the House said Monday that violent crimes should be addressed by the criminal justice system, not by school officials.

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Today is the start of the trial of 18 year old Jocori Scarborough who has been charged with second-degree rape among other counts for allegedly assaulting a Parkside High School student last May.

The state has said it will introduce DNA evidence into the case along with a recovered handgun.

Scarborough is also charged with possession of a regulated firearm under the age of 21.

The case remains in Wicomico County Circuit Court despite defense efforts in late August to get the trial moved to a different jurisdiction because of the extensive media coverage.