Man sentenced in Phoebe Prince bullying case accused of sexually assaulting Mount Holyoke College student 

  • Sean Mulveyhill being sworn in at a court hearing in 2011. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 3/13/2019 4:34:07 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — A man who was sentenced to probation in connection with 15-year-old Phoebe Prince’s suicide nearly a decade ago in South Hadley is being accused of raping a college student.

Court documents show that a plaintiff at Mount Holyoke College filed a complaint for protection from harassment against Sean Mulveyhill, 26, alleging that he forced her to “involuntarily engage in sexual relations.”

In an affidavit statement, the plaintiff wrote “Sean Mulveyhill raped me” on or about Feb. 24. Mulveyhill’s attorney, Michelle S. Cruz of Chicopee, said Wednesday that she and her client have no comment. No criminal complaints had been filed as of Wednesday, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office, which declined to comment on the matter. 

The Gazette does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Mount Holyoke College administrators sent an email to parents and caregivers of students stating that the college “recently received a report of an alleged sexual assault by a Mount Holyoke College staff member against a Mount Holyoke student.” A Mount Holyoke College staff newsletter from March 2018 lists a Sean Mulveyhill as a recent hire, and The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that Mulveyhill worked as a bartender at the college. 

In the emailed letter, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Marcella Runell Hall wrote that “the staff member in question has been placed on investigative leave and will not be on campus for the duration of these investigations.” Hall also wrote that the college is working with local and campus police as they investigate the incident, and is conducting an independent Title IX investigation. Title IX is the federal civil rights rules on gender discrimination in publicly-funded education institutions.

In a statement to the Gazette sent by Vince DeMore, the plaintiff’s Boston attorney, the family wrote: “At this time, the safety of this young woman is of paramount importance to us and all of our decision making is guided by that principle.”

“Out of respect for the victim, we ask for privacy,” the statement continued. “We have full confidence in the South Hadley Police Department and the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office to fully investigate this very serious case. Due to the ongoing investigation, we’ll be making no further comment.”

Mulveyhill pleaded guilty in 2011 to criminal harassment of Prince, a student at South Hadley High School who in 2010 hanged herself at her home after extensive bullying from her classmates. Mulveyhill, who briefly dated Prince, also faced statutory rape, violation of civil rights with bodily injury, and disturbance of a school assembly charges, which were dropped.

The case, which saw five students charged following Prince’s death, called attention to bullying in schools and the responsibility of school officials to protect students from bullying.

Jacquelyn Voghel can be reached at jvoghel@gazettenet.com.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2019 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy