Chancellor Releases Statement About Meramec Student Attack

Posted on 25 April 2013 by admin

Dorsey apologizes for not sending an immediate campus notification

Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey

The following statement was released by STLCC Chancellor Myrtle Dorsey on Thursday, April 25, 2013, prior to the Board of Trustees Meeting:

As many have heard, a student was arrested and charged with assaulting a female student on the Meramec campus, Thursday, April 18, 2013. Quick action by a faculty member and the college police prevented what could have been a much more serious incident. We thank them all.

Having said that, the college has been criticized, and rightly so, for failing to notify students and staff on the Meramec campus in a timely manner. On behalf of the college, I apologize for not sending an immediate campus notification. As we attempted to get a more complete picture of what happened, we delayed sending information. This will not happen again, and I would like to share some details with you now:

  • Due process within the justice system specifies that an arrested suspect cannot remain in custody for more than 24 hours without a formal warrant being issued. The investigation was conducted in a thorough manner in order to assure an accurate presentation of events leading to the arrest. The police proceeded as efficiently as possible, but according to official protocol the subject had to be released pending the application for a warrant, because of time constraints.
  • Factors that complicated the investigation of this incident included the decision on the part of the St. Louis Community College Police to call in certified sexual harassment investigators to conduct the necessary interviews, the collection of evidence including photos of the victim, and consultation with the prosecuting attorney in order to assure that proper jurisdictional procedures were followed.
  • To formally expel the student from the college the current process dictates that the suspect needs to meet in person with the campus vice president of student affairs. When the suspect returned to the campus for the meeting he was formally expelled, taken into custody and put under arrest by the St. Louis Community College Police. He was then transported to the St. Louis County Jail. Aspects of our expulsion procedures are being reviewed now.

Through all this, the safety of our students and staff remains our highest priority, and the St. Louis Community College Police have worked diligently to deal with this incident in accordance with justice system regulations. Meanwhile, please know that changes are being made to improve our communication processes, and we welcome your feedback at PIM@stlcc.edu.

Sincerely,

Myrtle E. B. Dorsey, Ph.D.
Chancellor
St. Louis Community College

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