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South Carolina Law Enforcement Will Investigate An Alleged Sexual Assault of a Female Cadet

November 25, 1997

South Carolina Law Enforcement Will Investigate An Alleged Sexual Assault of a Female Cadet by a Male Cadet at the CitadelBy BRUCE SMITH

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ The state launched an investigation Monday into allegations that a male cadet at the Citadel sexually assaulted a freshman female cadet in a barracks.

The upperclassman resigned from school Friday amid allegations of a sexual encounter sometime around Nov. 2. Any sexual activity between cadets on campus is against the rules at the state military college.

School President John Grinalds contacted the State Law Enforcement Division on Saturday to ask authorities what to do after the question of whether the woman consented arose.

``They called me back today to tell me they were conducting an investigation into a possible assault,″ Grinalds said.

Solicitor David Schwacke said the woman gave investigators a statement Monday.

The woman, one of only 20 female cadets at the formerly all-male college, remained off campus on special leave with her family, school spokeswoman Judith Fluck said.

Grinalds would not identify either cadet, citing privacy laws. Schwacke said he could make no further comment.

The college dropped its all-male admissions policy last year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a similar policy at Virginia Military Institute was unconstitutional.

During a lengthy, acrimonious court fight to keep the Citadel all-male, some opponents of coeducation warned there would be problems with sexual activity in the barracks.

``I think it’s part of the human landscape and exists everywhere,″ Grinalds said. ``It’s wherever men and woman are together. I’m sorry this incident occurred.″

State agents were brought to campus almost a year ago when two other female cadets alleged they had been hazed and harassed, including having their clothes set afire. The women later left the college.

The results of that investigation were turned over to a prosecutor, who concluded there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges. The Justice Department is still reviewing that case for possible civil-rights violations.

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