Two cases of sexual harassment from one year ago on Prospect Avenue reportedand Jessica Li | Oct 3, 2016
The Department of Public Safety responded to two cases of sexual harassment on Prospect Avenue reported in late September. Both reports indicated that the incidents took place almost one year prior, in the fall of 2015, according to University spokesperson John Cramer.
On Sept. 20, 2016, Public Safety received a report from a Campus Security Authority that a forcible sexual assault occurred at an unknown eating club on Prospect Avenue sometime during the fall of 2015, Cramer noted. According to Public Safety’s crime log, the last reported incident on that account occurred on December 31, 2015.
“The victim requested no further action and no other information was provided,” Cramer said. The case was subsequently designated as “closed.”
Three days later, on Sept. 23, 2016, Public Safety received a second report from a CSA that a sexual harassment incident occurred on Sept. 20, 2015. An unknown individual reported that a student tried to grab another student's genitals during the Lawnparties of 2015 at the Quadrangle Club, located on 33 Prospect Avenue, according to Cramer.
Cramer also noted that no further information was provided by the CSA or the victim. The case was similarly marked as “closed.”
Though incidents that occur on Prospect Avenue typically fall under the jurisdiction of the Princeton Police Department, a joint action is occasionally required for those involving University students.
“There has been no alteration of DPS’s jurisdiction boundaries. Prospect Street is in the jurisdiction of PPD, but DPS officers often respond based on requests from PPD to assist in a variety of matters,” Cramer said.
Under the Clery Act, Public Safety is obligated to report all Clery crimes that are on campus, on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, and in or on non-campus buildings or property that the institution owns or controls, explained Cramer.
Cramer added that all of the University’s eating clubs are on public property within or immediately adjacent to the campus, and hence fall under the University’s crime log coverage.
According to a map obtained by ‘the Prince’ in May, many of the eating clubs themselves do not fall under the University’s Clery Act map. This past July, Mercer County court judge Mary Jacobson ruled that the University can retain its jurisdiction map; however, the University must disclose a statement of responsibilities between the its Department of Public Safety and the Princeton Police Department under the Open Public Records Act.Under current University policies, there is no time frame in which a student must report an incident of sexual misconduct, although Section 1.3.8 of Rights, Rules, Responsibilities encourages individuals to report those incidents as soon as possible. All cases will be handled under the same protocol regardless of the time lapse between the occurrence and the report.
However, if the perpetrator of sexual misconduct is no longer a student or faculty member of the University when the report is made, then the University may not be able to pursue disciplinary actions, but will still provide resources and support for the victim as well as take steps to end the prohibited behavior, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects in order to meet its Title IX obligations.