Students protest after comments on UMKC rape - KCTV5

Students protest after comments on UMKC rape

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The school's public relations spokesperon spoke about the crime with the student newspaper.  (KCTV5) The school's public relations spokesperon spoke about the crime with the student newspaper. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Words matter. That's the reaction from students at UMKC following a reported rape.

Juan Contreras was charged last week with the rape of a student after he allegedly carried her inside a dorm. On Wednesday, students protested. They say the reaction from school leaders is troubling.

Court documents say a student was raped inside Johnson Hall. Security cameras show her being carried inside a side door by Contrarus. She was passed out and even missing a shoe.

The victim and the assailant knew each other through mutual friends.

John Martellaro, the school's public relations spokesman, spoke about the crime with the student newspaper. Here's the quote:

"This is not necessarily a security issue because the victim went out willingly with the suspect. It was after socializing that she was taken advantage of, or raped, whatever you might call it."

Those words have set off a firestorm on campus.

Martellaro has since apologized saying, "Rape is rape, and it's a terrible crime."

The University of Missouri-Kansas City released the following statement Wednesday:

"UMKC supports the rights of students to express themselves and to demonstrate peacefully. We are also encouraged that so many members of our community care enough about the issues of rape and rape culture to make a public statement about it. We care deeply about those issues as well and welcome student feedback that improves our campus."

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