Ithaca, N.Y. — Cornell police have referred an alleged perpetrator in a rape complaint to the campus judicial system, Deputy Chief Dave Honan confirmed Thursday.
Police are not pursuing separate, criminal charges against the perpetrator at the victim’s request, Honan said.
The victim did not want to pursue criminal charges. Police did not have information to proceed with a criminal arrest at this time, Honan said.
“If the victim wished to pursue criminal charges and we had sufficient evidence we would proceed with the course of action the victim wished to pursue,” Honan said.
The rape reportedly occurred at South Baker Hall on Cornell’s West Campus in October 2013.
A victim came forward on July 11, 2014, about the attack, according to Honan. The perpetrator was referred to Cornell’s Judicial Administrator on Aug. 27.
“The victim identified the alleged perpetrator and (police) made the referral based upon that,” Honan said.
“We’ve done all the investigation we can at this time and we are unable to pursue an independent criminal charge.”
Honan did not disclose details of the rape.
“There’s still an active case,” he said.
“When it goes through the on campus system some information is protected, so I am not able to share any further details with you.”
Possible consequences of the Judicial Administrator’s office include suspension, expulsion and range of other punitive measures from the university.
Universities’ adjudication of rape cases — which occur outside the criminal justice system — have drawn widespread media attention over the last few years.
Critics have said college administrators are not equipped to handle rape and sexual assault cases. Some say college officials are too concerned with the reputation of perpetrators at the expense of the victims’ health.
Others have worried about the rights of the students accused in these cases. In 2012, Cornell’s University Assembly voted to lower the burden of proof in rape cases, according to the Cornell Daily Sun.
The move — which was criticized by several law professors but praised by victims’ advocates — means that defendants must only be found guilty on a “preponderance,” or 51 percent, of the evidence to face punishment.
Previously, defendants had to be found guilty on a “clear and convincing evidence” standard, The Sun reported.