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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-10-99

Student Dismissed From Harvard for Rape

Harvard University faculty voted to dismiss student and D. Drew Douglas for raping a female classmate. The faculty opted to reject a possible lesser sentence of withdrawal, which would have allowed Douglas the opportunity to seek readmission to the school in the future.

Douglas had pleaded guilty to battery and indecent assault, or improper sexual touching, in a criminal court last year. A Harvard University investigation found that Douglas had committed rape. His accuser has stated that she was asleep when Douglas began raping her.

Douglas's case sparked a campus-wide debate over whether Harvard University officials understood the seriousness of date rape. Before the faculty voted, about 250 students protested the possibility of letting Douglas withdraw, noting that the school's punishment for plagiarism is expulsion.

In addition to his expulsion from Harvard University, Douglas received five years probation, including eighteen months under house arrest. His lawyer, James L. Sultan, claimed that the vote did not matter because Douglas had already suffered a great deal. Sultan added, "His career at Harvard is over."

Media Resources: New York Times - March 10, 1999


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