In the wake of the high profile arrest of UNC Charlotte 49ers quarterback Kevin Olsen on rape charges, university officials have released a statement addressing concerns raised over why campus alerts weren’t issued in two recent sex assault reports.
Chancellor Philip Dubois also says in the statement that the university has developed a crisis communication plan and changes are already in progress in the way students and facility get information from the school. Specifics of those changes weren’t released.
Federal law requires all crimes occurring on campus to be reported in annual security reports. However, Dubois notes the school must also adhere to strict federal protections for the privacy of student information.
“What this means,” says Dubois, “is that when a serious crime occurs on campus and it is believed there is an imminent threat to the safety of the campus community, a campus alert is issued. However, if a potential threat is averted or neutralized, such as by an arrest, we do not issue campus alerts.”
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In the recent instance of an alleged sexual assault that occurred in a campus residence hall, the two students involved were known to each other and a timely arrest was made, he said.
“No campus alert was issued because there was no imminent threat to the safety and welfare of others in that residence hall or on campus. When students who are known to each other are involved in an assault, it does not change the seriousness of the crime, but it may determine if there is an imminent threat to others,” said Dubois.
“I can assure you that a campus alert would have been issued, for example, if it appeared that the sexual assault was the result of an unauthorized entry into the residence hall by an individual not known to the victim and who had not yet been apprehended.”
In the case of Olsen’s arrest, the alleged sexual assault occurred off campus and the victim was a former student, police said.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Olsen was freed on $103,000 bond at 4 p.m. Monday, charged with three counts of felony second-degree forcible rape, communicating threats, assault on a female and second-degree sex offense (forcible fondling). The incident occurred at 3:30 a.m. Sunday at Olsen’s apartment in University City, near the UNC Charlotte campus, according to Assistant District Attorney Kristen Northrup. Olsen and his accuser were dating, authorities said.
Olsen, 22, is the brother of Carolina Panthers’ tight end Greg Olsen.
“Crimes or alleged crimes that occur off campus are not reported in campus crime reports and the University would not typically comment on students accused of criminal behavior or victimized by it,” DuBois said.
“However, in the most recent case of a student-athlete, the University and the head football coach wanted to respond to reassure the community that appropriate disciplinary measures were taken with respect to the student's status on the team pending the formal resolution of the criminal charges.”