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University of Massachusetts student arrested after alleged rape in dorm room on Amherst campus

Weilang Wang, 18, of 58 Eastman Lane, was arrested by UMass police on charges of rape and indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, said Deputy Chief Patrick Archbald. Wang was arraigned on the charges in Eastern Hampshire District Court Wednesday.

Archbald said a woman reported she had been raped at 11:14 p.m., just minutes after it allegedly occurred. Archbald said Wang is accused of committing the crime after the victim briefly fell asleep in his room.

The victim was immediately provided medical attention, Archbald said.

Wang, who is a Chinese national, will have to surrender his passport to the probation department if he makes bail. In addition, a harassment prevention order is in place in which Wang is not to contact the victim and must remain at least 10 yards away from her at all times, Archbald said.

The arrest comes four months after police arrested four Pittsfield men who allegedly repeatedly raped a UMass student in her dorm room.

Archbald said rape reports are not uncommon on campus, though many are made by students who have been consuming alcohol.

“We certainly get reports of rape and alcohol is oftentimes a factor in the reports,” Archbald said. “In this case, no alcohol was involved, which is highly unusual.”

But Archbald said the department wants to ensure all people who are victims of rape and sexual assaults feel comfortable coming forward, understanding that many are not doing so. In 2011, there were 11 forcible sex offenses reported on the UMass campus. Statistics show that rape tends to be under-reported, with just 5 to 22 percent of victims coming forward, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety and Security’s September report, “Analysis of College Campus Rape and Sexual Assault Reports, 2000-2011.”

Archbald said half of the 59 officers on the UMass force are trained in sexual assault investigations and a female officer talked to the victim.

“Our commitment is strong to have the right officers trained to speak to victims to interview them while being cognizant of the trauma they have gone through,” Archbald said.

I am not impressed with the way the subject of alcohol is being handled in this article. In fact, it seems from the quotes included that Deputy Chief Archibald didn't say anything explicitly irresponsible on this topic. However, the way Scott Merzbach summarizes the issue: "rape reports are not uncommon on campus, though many are made by students who have been consuming alcohol" strikes me as, at best, bizarre. Why "though"? In what was does the presence of alcohol restrict the horrific relevance of rape reports being common on campus? Was linked to this article through the Week of Action Against Rape over at UMass, (http://on.fb.me/15BFVmt.) I suggest anyone reading this article check it out!

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