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On-campus Rape At UMass Amherst Prompts Security Review


Four teenagers have been arrested for the rape of an 18 year old UMass Amherst student in a campus residence hall.  University officials say they’ll undertake a comprehensive review of security.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

   Four men, all from Pittsfield Massachusetts, are charged with committing what authorities described as a violent rape. The four are not UMass Amherst students, but were known to the victim. UMass Amherst Police Chief  John Horvath said the attack took place in the victim’s residence hall room in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 13.  The victim reported it to UMass police the next day and the arrests occurred five days later.

   Police identified the four men under arrest as 18 year olds  Emmanuel Bile, Justin King, and Adam Liccardi, along with Caleb Womack, who is 17.  All four were scheduled for court arraignments Monday.

   Chief Horvath said after the victim came to police to report the attack, campus authorities elected not to issue an alert about the rape over the campus-wide emergency notification system.

   Top Umass Amherst officials, led by Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy  held a news conference Monday afternoon to stress that on campus safety is of the upmost importance.

   Campus police are still investigating to determine how the four men gained entry to the victim’s room.  Chief Horvath said three of the four men had been signed in at the residence hall security desk as guests  of  a  Umass student other than the victim.  

   Dean of Students, Enku Gelaye  said the student who signed the suspects in as guests could face university disciplinary procedures.

   University officials promised a comprehensive review of residence hall security.

   Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan praised the work of the UMass Amherst Police and thanked the victim for coming forward to report the crime.

   There were 13 sexual assaults reported to UMass Amherst police in 2011, one more than the number reported to police the year before.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.