Howard Student Accused of Sexual Assault was Fired, Banned from UCLA

The #TakeBackTheNightHU protestagainst alleged mistreatment of sexual assault victims
on the campus ocupies the entrance of Howard's College Hall South Dorm. Photo:Twitter.  

WASHINGTON — A Howard University student employee accused of sexually assaulting another Howard student was fired and banned from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2014 for falsifying information to obtain employment with campus police and “build social relationships” with young women on the campus, according to UCLA officials.

The man, who was still employed at Howard University Tuesday, was also accused by a female student of domestic violence, UCLA police said.

Rape accusations against the male student have caused concern, outrage and have led to policy changes at Howard.

Scores of Howard student-protestors spilled into the streets last week, chanting “no means no,” as part of #TakeBackTheNightHU, a broad protest for all victims of sexual assault on campus following online accusations against the student.

The demonstration was intended to “bring attention to the rape culture at Howard and hold the administration accountable for how they treat victims,” student activists said. 

A female student accused Howard officials of ignoring her claims of sexual assault.

Holding signs with the protestors’ demands, the students crowded the lobby and front entrance of the dorm where the female student alleged she had been raped by the former UCLA employee before marching through the main campus.

UCLA officials have confirmed that a notice of exclusion for the current Howard University student from the UCLA campus and UCLA extensions was authentic. It stated that he had been banned from the campus after a complaint of domestic violence was filed against him.

So far, Howard has not commented on whether it knew the accused resident assistant had been banned from UCLA when the Department of Residence Life hired him.

In an official statement to students Wednesday in response to one of the demands of the #TakeBackTheNightHU protestors, the university said it has changed its policy to include background checks for all employees, including students.

“Currently, student employees of the university are not required to undergo a criminal history check,” the statement said.  “Effective immediately, all student employees will be required to undergo a criminal history check.”

The student accused of rape was hired by Howard University in August 2015.  According to Brittany Allen, a Howard human resource specialist, he is still a residence assistant in the university’s College Hall South dormitory. 

#TakeBackTheNightHU protestors hold signs marked with protest demands they
think will better protect victims who report sexual assaualt on campus. Photo:Twitter.

“He is an active employee,” Allen said.

According to the June 2014 letter from UCLA, the male student was fired and barred from its campus when officials discovered he “employed false information about [his] status as a student to claim…eligibility for employment to which he was not entitled.”

The document said he impersonated a student “with a high GPA majoring in aerospace engineering” to obtain a job in July 2013 as a community service officer with the University of California Police Department, a position reserved for resident students at the university.

Community service officers provide security and escort services to UCLA campus visitors, staff and students.

Officials at UCLA subsequently learned that the student used his “claims of student status and fraudulently obtained position as a CSO to approach female students and attempt to enter into social relationships with them.”

According to the document, “at least one such relationship commenced as a result of misrepresentations resulted in a police complaint of domestic violence.”

The man also refused to surrender his UCLA staff identification card after he was released from the university.

Howard officials say they cannot release information regarding the rape investigation against the student.

“We do take this very seriously,” said Candi Smiley, Howard’s deputy Title IX coordinator. “Due to the confidential nature of the case, we cannot release any specific information.”

It is illegal to reveal such information in Title IX cases, Smiley said.