UMKC holds listening session following rape on campus - KCTV5

UMKC holds listening session following rape on campus

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Police say Juan Contreras sexually assaulted a female student in the dorm room while she was unconscious. Police say Juan Contreras sexually assaulted a female student in the dorm room while she was unconscious.
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is working to build trust after charges were filed against a man for rape on campus. 

Police say Juan Contreras sexually assaulted a female student in the dorm room while she was unconscious.

Only about 50 people showed up to today's listening session here at UMKC, but students KCTV5 talked to said they are hopeful it's the beginning of a path to better understanding for everyone involved.

"We can't look at what should've happened, what could've happened - it's about what did happen," UMKC junior Angelica Duckworth said. "Where we are now and how we move forward?"

Students said after the 90-minute meeting, they are feeling more hopeful than before and that the administration at UMKC is listening.

"It was very proactive, transparent, being receptive" said senior Rakeem Golden. "We're not all going to hear something we want to hear, but I do know administrators are becoming very receptive to what the students are trying to explain about what campus life looks like for us."

The concern was two-fold:  after a reported on-campus rape, several days passed before students were alerted.

UMKC argued the alleged attacker had already been caught and that the victim knew him so there was no threat to any students.

The other concern was the way one of the school's media relations people described it to the student newspaper saying:  

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

Security cameras had captured the victim being carried inside the side door allegedly by Contreras.  

She was clearly passed out and even missing one of her shoes.

The school called the spokesperson's comments "damaging" and said he will be undergoing a series of training and remediation.

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