College Guards Dismissed Sexual Attack On Campus
POTSDAM, N.Y. (AP) _ Two university security guards who saw the brutal rape that led to a sophomore’s death did nothing because they thought she was willingly having sex, authorities said.
Katherine Hawelka, 19, of Syracuse, who was beaten unconscious and raped on the Clarkson University campus, died Monday at a Watertown hospital after doctors disconnected life-support systems.
University security guard Donald Shanty told police he saw the attack on Miss Hawelka early Friday on the campus in upstate New York near the Canadian border, but did not realize what was happening.
Shanty said he saw what he believed to be a consenting couple having sexual intercourse as he drove his patrol car, according to police records. ″When the lights hit the subject he looked up at me and then turned his head back down,″ Shanty is quoted in police records.
″I didn’t think too much of the guy and the girl being there because in the 2 1/2 years that I’ve been working as a security guard for Clarkson, I have seen students having sex in unusual places before, and therefore I really didn’t think too much of this at the time.″
Another guard, Kim Avadikian, who was on foot, also saw Miss Hawelka being raped, police records show.
The two guards discussed whether they should intervene and, according to Shanty, ″decided to go back and park with our headlights on them so they would get up and leave,″ the records show.
They found Miss Hawelka covered with blood, and a nearby wall blood- stained, Shanty said. Authorities said the woman’s face had been smashed into the wall.
Brian McCarthy, 23, has been charged with second-degree murder. Police said he was found lying near Miss Hawelka’s body on Friday.
Potsdam Police Chief Clinton Matott and Clarkson University spokesman Terrence A. Taylor defended the guards’ actions Tuesday, saying they called authorities as soon as they realized a crime had taken place.
″Somewhere along the line, somebody got the implication that if they (the guards) did something right away, they could have helped,″ said Matott. ″This is totally wrong. We do have evidence now that the assault took place prior to the rape. At that point it wouldn’t have made any difference.″