UTSA student group plans to name alleged sexual offenders
Leaders of a student group at the University of Texas at San Antonio who have called for more attention to “rape culture” said they plan to publicly name male students who they say have abused female students.
Members of the group have already begun naming the alleged offenders on social media and have linked to the men’s online presence.
Organizer Kimiya Factory said the group includes women who have endured sexual assault and dating violence. They plan to name about 10 men, almost all of them current UTSA students, at noon today in front of the McKinney Humanities building on the UTSA main campus.
Factory, 20, said the group independently investigated the men after women went to them for help. Some of them, including a woman who plans to participate in the demonstration, said they spoke with an outside law firm hired by the university last fall to investigate allegations of sexual abuse — a probe launched in part because an anonymous flyer posted at an apartment complex near campus implied that the accused men would be named, which Factory had denied knowing anything about.
The women were unsatisfied with the process and outcome of the investigation, Factory said. They said investigators asked accusatory questions, implying they were somewhat responsible for what happened to them, Factory said. She has said she declined to cooperate with the investigators because the women had given their stories to her in confidence. They have since given her permission to air the allegations, she said Wednesday.
Some of the women also went to police, Factory said, but that yielded inconclusive results.
“Nobody has seen anyone held accountable and that is why we’re doing this today,” she said.
Factory said she believes accusers should be named publicly because, “lt is rape culture to do otherwise,” but accusations should be vetted and she is confident the people she is accusing today are guilty of the allegations. She said she didn’t have a problem with the apartment flyers but still doesn’t know who put them up, adding, “There are cases in which people lie and we know that.”
The group has had some communication with lawyers but haven’t hired any, Factory said.
“We do feel like the community will come together to make sure we’re protected” she said about any potential lawsuits or other blowback. “We are exercising our freedom of speech and freedom to assemble. These allegations are not false,” she said.
Check MySA.com and ExpressNews.com for more on this developing story.
Krista Torralva covers several school districts and public universities in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | Krista.Torralva@express-news.net | Twitter: @KMTorralva