Student arrested after alleged rape in dormitory
October 17, 2011
The College of William and Mary Police arrested and charged Jeffery Weaver ’13 with one count of rape Monday.
Weaver was arrested after a female student reported the incident, which allegedly occurred early Saturday morning. Weaver is a 27-year-old undergraduate student at the College who lives off campus.
“According to the student’s account, the incident occurred inside a residence hall during the morning hours of Saturday,” Director of University Relations Brian Whitson said. “The student went to the hospital for a medical examination; William and Mary police were notified and began an investigation.”
Weaver was taken to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail Monday morning, where he remained without bail as of Monday night. He will face an arraignment hearing Tuesday in order to determine bail and whether he will need an attorney.
Whitson said the College Police are continuing an investigation, but he could not speak about the College’s judicial proceedings concerning the case. According to the 2011 Campus Safety Report, a student found responsible for violating sexual misconduct policy will face sanctions including contingent or permanent dismissal from the College.
“Any violation of local, state and national law can trigger campus disciplinary procedures,” Whitson said.
In response to the incident, Vice President of Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88, Ph.D ’06 sent an email to the student body Monday urging campus community members to support each other. She included a reminder that there are a number of campus resources for students affected by sexual assault.
“We are certainly making sure that all of our services and all of our resources are available,” Whitson said.
Student organizations including Health Outreach Peer Educators, One-in-Four and Every Two Minutes provide educational information about sexual assault. Vice President for the Office of Public Health for HOPE Danielle Noriega ’13 believes the incident will encourage others to come forward.
“Just reading it, I can tell that it was definitely a difficult decision for the person to come forward, just because I know there are many instances on campus where people don’t come forth,” Noriega said. “I think this brings to light the fact that sexual assault is something that happens on campus.”
There have been 37 forcible sex offenses reported on campus over the past nine years, according to the College’s annual crime statistics, and 26 of them occurred in residence halls. The College’s new sexual assault prevention specialist, Eric Marlowe Garrison ’94, said that healthy campus relationships are essential to reducing the number of assaults that occur.
“It’s a time to think and regroup, to look ahead toward that community where healthy relationships are the norm and where we remind ourselves that men and women and transgender students are responsible for creating that culture,” he said.
Garrison emphasized that stereotypes can be detrimental to efforts to prevent sexual assault.
“Women are not the sole victims, and men are not the sole perpetrators,” he said. “Little things make a big difference. Every time we refer to a woman as a girl and a man as a boy, we’re setting ourselves back by disrespecting ourselves as sexual beings. Every time we blame someone for choice of clothes, choice of alcohol consumption, choices in friends and other associations, we take a step back, and it’s not just the responsibility of one director, one office, or one student organization. Everyone who wears the green and gold or everyone whose life touches this campus needs to be part of the town-gown relationship for a healthier William and Mary.”