“Hey, remember when you sexually assaulted me…”-A Tarleton student used social media to confront a male student who she says sexually assaulted her two years ago- and she’s making their conversation public.

Diana ValdezMultimedia Journalist

A Tarleton student says she was sexually assaulted by another student her freshman year.

A direct message on Twitter from the woman who says she was sexually assaulted to the man she is accusing.

A Tarleton student says she was sexually assaulted by another student her freshman year.

The accuser identified a then-undergraduate student and member of a fraternity as her assaulter. He is currently enrolled at Tarleton as a graduate student and has applied for graduation in the Fall. The 21-year-old woman, who asked not to be named, said that she and the accused worked together, and she would occasionally give him rides home from work.

He bought a shirt from his fraternity to give to her and agreed to meet him at his home to pick up the item.

“He just kept forgetting to bring it to work so I thought he just kept forgetting. One day at work he said hey, you should come grab it; come by my house whenever you leave work,” she recounted. “When I got there, I called him and I told him hey, I’m here. He was like come on, just come inside and grab it. I said no, I am running late, and we argued about it for about 5 minutes and I said okay, oh my god.”

He reassured her it was in his hand, ready to hand to her, and when she arrived at the apartment, the door was already opened, and he pulled her inside.

She recalled telling him, “Stop, I don’t have time to hang out with you. I literally have to go.”

 She remembered that he threw her phone and keys across the room.

“At that point, I was like what is happening,” she said. “He throws me on the couch and he’s on top of me and I kept telling him to stop, to get off, but he wouldn’t listen. Things kept escalating. He picked me up and took me to a room,” she said.

She recalled how he attempted to take her clothing off unsuccessfully while she tried to get away from him.

“He just resorted to oral. I couldn’t breathe because I was choking. I was trying to scream,” she remembered.

The assault continued for several minutes.

“I was finally able to scream, and I told him, you are literally assaulting me right now. You are raping me; this is not ok. I was screaming at him and that’s when he finally got off and just sat there.”

“I grabbed all of my stuff, got my keys and my phone, and sprinted out. I got in my car and I left. I called one of my best friends at the time… so I called him, and I was balling my eyes out,” she said. “He was like, ‘what’s wrong? What is happening?’ and I didn’t even know how to explain it to him.”

Her friend recalled finding out about the situation.

“I don’t remember where I was at, but yes, (name detracted) called me right after the event happened and told me that she went over there to get a fraternity shirt that she had purchased. He invited her inside and then sexually assaulted her,” he said in a text message.

She never went to the police because she did not believe she could prove what had happened.

“I was just this freshman. I had been at Tarleton for two months and I didn’t want to go through that because I didn’t have any proof. How could I prove I had been sexually assaulted by a guy that knew so many people that was very influential? It was going to be my word against his,” she explained.

Her friends encouraged her to file a report with the police.

“I didn’t want to take the chance and them not do anything to him. I was scared to go public,” she said.

She cut off all contact with him, though he continued to attempt to contact her through Twitter and Facebook.

After the attack, rumors began to spread at her place of employment that she had consensual sex with the man she says sexually assaulted her.

“It was like a slap in the face. Not only was that not the truth, but my reputation and my character were being questioned over something that I had no control over, something that I wish would have never happened,” she said.

About a year after the incident, she decided to confront him over a social media messaging application.

“I decided to unblock him and confront him a year later because my reputation and character were being questioned with the rumors his ex-girlfriend was saying about me at work,” she said.

The accused ex-girlfriend declined to comment and asked that the story not mention her name.

In the messages, he told her he was sorry for his actions and that he had “matured a lot since then.”

A direct message between the woman saying she was sexually assaulted to the man she accused of the crime. Screenshot courtesy of the Tarleton student who says she was assaulted.
The direct messages continue between the two. Screenshot courtesy of the Tarleton student who says she was assaulted.
The final messages between the two. Screenshot courtesy of the Tarleton student who says she was assaulted.

She transferred to a different job location and took a year off of school to recover from the incident.

“I lost a lot of trust. I couldn’t let people in, and I stopped going anywhere,” she said.

She worried he would do the same to other women but struggled to speak about the event.

“Another thing that I really struggle with, another thing that really scared me about me not saying was that he was going to do that to someone else. I felt pressured because what if I didn’t say something and he does that to someone else,” she said.

Another woman who worked with the man said the accused made her uncomfortable.

“I was a sophomore. He would message me late at night through twitter persistently even though I told him no several times,” she said.

The woman accusing him was surprised by her actions after the event.

“You think you know how to react if you went through something, but when you are there, that is not the case. You don’t understand it until you are there, going through it,” she said.  

She continues to take steps to move on from the situation.

“I am in a much better place. I decided to go back to school and I enrolled back at Tarleton for the fall semester. I decided to leave that in my past,” she said. “I believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

The man accused of the sexual assault has chosen not to comment.

College of Liberal and Fine Arts interim Dean Eric Morrow emailed Texan News Service (TNS) Editor-in-Chief Makenzie Plusnick to explain TNS was violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) if the article was released with the name of the man accused of sexual assault without his written permission. If the article was published with the accused man’s name, Morrow warned that the consequences could result in heavy fines, and termination of faculty and students. According to the FERPA website, “The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.” The act does not apply to public directory information, which is where TNS obtained information on the accused man through Tarleton’s public student directory.

 Texan News Service decided to withhold the name of the accused man to protect his right to privacy, per the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. If he is charged with a crime, Texan News Service will release his name. 

Updated 9/11/2019: The female student clarified the incident she says happened at the accused man’s house. Story was updated to correct this information.

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