This past week, it came out that two women at Purdue University were pressing charges against four members of the football team for sexual assault. The incident took place on Oct. 13 while the two students were at an apartment with the four football players, according to local Indiana paper the Journal & Courier.
The two women were having sex with two of the football players when the other two “initiated unwanted sex with them,” they reportedly told police. The four men were apparently cooperative during their criminal investigations. The victims’ “statements as they appear in the [police] report are ‘completely inaccurate’ as portrayed by police officials,” the women’s attorney, Mario Massillmany, said in an interview with CBS Sports.
The players have all been suspended from the Purdue football team, but they will not be criminally charged by the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office, where Purdue is located. The university is still conducting its own investigation.
This incident occurred as one of five reported sexual assault cases in four days in October, the Journal & Courier reports. While the incidents are reportedly unrelated, it definitely seems like rape culture is alive and well at Purdue. These cases are also in line with a larger national trend increasing reports of sexual assault over the past several years, particularly those in which the accused individuals were not charged (Brock Turner, Austin Wilkerson, and others).
How do we create a culture where survivors of sexual assault receive justice? How do we change criminal investigations to stop privileging the perpetrator’s point of view? These are questions we still have to keep working to answer.