Documents reveal sexual assault case at UC Santa Barbara

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A woman unaffiliated with the university was sexually assaulted by a UC Santa Barbara employee during an annual academic retreat in March 2016, according to documents obtained by The Daily Californian.

The woman, whose name was redacted in the documents, filed a complaint with the UC Santa Barbara Title IX and Sexual Harassment Policy Compliance Office, or TIX/SHPC, on June 8, 2016. She alleged that a UCSB employee, whose name was also redacted, sexually assaulted her while she was “in an incapacitated state and unable to consent.”

The Title IX office began an investigation in October 2016 in which the office considered testimony from both parties and witnesses. The investigation concluded in December of the same year and found that it was “more likely than not” that the employee sexually assaulted the complainant and violated the UC Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, according to the documents.

“The TIX/SHPC interviewed six witnesses and reviewed ten documents with information relevant to this allegation,” according to a document from the investigation. “Each party had the opportunity to present evidence and identify possible witnesses. The TIX/SHPC finds that this allegation is substantiated.”

The UCSB spokesperson and UCSB Title IX officer did not provide comments as of press time.

These documents are part of a series of California Public Records Act requests made by the Daily Cal in order to inform and update the database of more than 130 sexual misconduct cases throughout the UC system since October 2010.

The complainant said she had been drinking at a social event during the retreat and felt “very very strange” later in the night. According to the documents, the complainant said she was vomiting and then alleged that the respondent ran up to her and kissed her. The complainant said she could not remember most of the interaction because she was drifting in and out of consciousness, but said the respondent was “aggressive.”

In the days after the alleged assault, the complainant’s doctor confirmed that she had been injured.

The respondent said “the allegation is not true” and, referring to the complainant, said, “in no way did she seem incoherent,” according to the documents. The respondent said that she and the complainant engaged in consensual sexual activity, and denied some of the allegations made by the complainant.

The respondent received a letter of warning on Oct. 3, 2017 from Alison Butler, the associate vice chancellor for academic personnel at UC Santa Barbara, in response to the investigation.

“Due to the severity of the behavior investigated and substantiated by Title IX, I find that disciplinary action in the form of this letter of warning is appropriate,” Butler said in the letter. “Moving forward, you are expected at all times to conduct ourself in a professional manner as a representative of the University and to comply with the University’s Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence policy.”

Amanda Bradford is the lead academics and administration reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @amandabrad_uc.