Fraternity Members Will Be Allowed to Graduate Despite Filming Sexual Assault

Last year, three James Madison University Sigma Chi fraternity members filmed themselves sexually assaulting a fellow student named Sarah Butters. Butters was intoxicated and does not recall the incident, but she found out about it after her attackers, Mike Lunney, Jay Dertzbaugh and Nick Scallion, posted and shared the assault online. The video allegedly shows Butters stripped of the top half of her bathing suit, being passed between the three men who fondle her and attempt to remove the rest of her clothing while she mumbles “This isn’t okay. This isn’t a good idea.”

It seems like an airtight case, but the James Madison University director of judicial affairs saw it differently. At first, Butters was told it was impossible to tell whether or not the encounter was consensual. After Butters provided a host of evidence (including text messages) confirming that it was not consensual, a university panel agreed that Lunney, Dertzbaugh and Scallion did indeed assault Butters and determined that they would be expelled …after they graduated. In other words, James Madison University believes in punishing students only after there’s really no point.

Two of the attackers have since graduated, but Butters herself will not fare so well. She says the trauma caused her grades to drop. She lost her financial aid and eventually withdrew from the university. Last April, she filed a complaint with the US Department of Education, who is investigating the matter further …

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