11/17/2014 update: That would be President Ed Ray of Oregon State:
I am sure that many of you have read the article just published on OregonLive and being published in three segments this week in The Oregonian regarding the horrific assault suffered by Brenda Tracy in 1998 at the hands of several men.
I learned the details regarding this assault on Friday. Apparently, statements were taken from Ms. Tracy and the suspects, two of whom were on the Oregon State University football team at the time.
We are told that law enforcement officials in 1998 were not able to bring criminal charges because Ms. Tracy did not wish to participate in a prosecution.
OSU cannot control the criminal justice system, but I have asked university staff to obtain the police reports for the case and to determine if there are any actions we can take now under OSU’s code of student conduct. There may be no formal course of action available to us but we must try. While legal minds could no doubt explain how it makes sense to have a statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes, I find that appalling. Hopefully, justice delayed is not justice entirely denied in this case. We are currently trying to get the facts regarding OSU’s handling of this matter in 1998, including what efforts were made then to reach out to Ms. Tracy to help her deal with the terrible physical and emotional harm she suffered. If a case of this nature was reported to the university today, OSU’s Office of Equity and Inclusion would work to stop the sexual misconduct, assist the survivor and prevent a recurrence.
Ms. Tracy’s journey has been simultaneously heart-breaking and inspiring because of her own capacity to reclaim her sense of self-worth and pursue her education so that she can help others through her work as a nurse.
There is no statute of limitations on compassion or basic human decency. I understand that Mike Riley, who was our football coach at the time, has offered to meet with Ms. Tracy and would like to have her speak with the football team if she wishes to do so. The immediate response from us to Ms. Tracy is to ask how we can help her address the effects of this violence. It is our hope that any role she is willing and interested in pursuing to help educate our community on the horrors of sexual assault by sharing her story could bring some healing.
This would be of great interest to us, but only if it is helpful to Ms. Tracy in continuing to deal with all that she has suffered.
We cannot undo this nightmare. I personally apologize to Ms. Tracy for any failure on our part in 1998 in not helping her through this terrible ordeal. This is a moment from which each of us can learn. But it is mostly a moment for us to help Ms. Tracy heal.
Edward J. Ray President
11/14/2014: 16 years after Oregon State football gang-rape allegation, survivor talks
John Canzano has her powerful story in the Oregonian, here. Read it all. It ends with this:
Mike Riley, the football coach who Brenda Tracy resented so much all those years, is contemplating the unthinkable. He wonders if Tracy, nurse and survivor, might stand in front of his football team someday and share the gravity of her terrible experience.
“What do you think?” he asked me.
I told the coach she’d be powerful.
“I always try to research the right people to talk to our team and do it throughout the year,” Riley said. “That would be a compelling talk. A real-life talk. Instead of just talking about rape and sexual assault, actually having someone talk about how things can change for everyone in a moment like that.”
… When I told Tracy about OSU’s reaction and Riley’s wish to think about having her speak to his team someday, she broke down. Of course, she’d love to be part of an educational program, not just for the football team but for any group interested in hearing her story.
“Maybe that’s where this was supposed to go all along,” she said.
She’d speak out not because she wants justice. She’d talk not because she wants someone to pay off her therapy bills or student loans. Her desire isn’t for blood, an apology or retribution. She has no interest in a lawsuit, in case anyone wonders.
Instead, she wants to talk about domestic violence and gang rape. She wants to let 16 years of confusion and pain bleed out in a room filled with strangers because for the first time, maybe ever, Brenda Tracy is liberated.
She said, “I feel like I just went free.”
And the NYT has yet another report on the corrupt relationship between FSU football and the Tallahassee Police, here.