Bradley president responds to his remarks on sexual assault

On the morning of Dec. 14, Bradley University’s President Gary Roberts appeared on WMBD News to discuss campus safety.

During the segment, Roberts commented on a Dec. 8 safety alert. The alert notified the Bradley community that a female student had reported being sexually assaulted at an on-campus residential facility.

While on air, Roberts said the incident involved “students who knew each other who got very drunk.” He then continued, saying “Teenage kids sometimes behave in stupid ways, and that’s basically what happened this time.”

After viewers reacted negatively on social media to the interview, Roberts sent a campus-wide email saying he acknowledges his comments may have been interpreted to imply that he does “not regard sexual assault as a serious crime” and that he is “excusing criminal behavior.”

“If one were to know the specific facts of the incident in question, and thus the context in which the question was asked, one might better understand that I did not intend to imply any such thing,” Roberts said. “I strongly believe that sexual assault is a serious crime that is not excused by anything, including the victim having diminished capacity.”

University spokesperson Renee Charles said in an email to The Scout that Roberts’ remarks were not intended to dismiss the allegations.

“President Roberts in no way excuses the alleged assault nor does he put blame on the victim,” Charles said. “The use of alcohol does not justify the crime of sexual assault. While we are not able to discuss details of an active case, this is a very serious crime and we investigate all allegations fully.”

This is a developing story.

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