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December 30, 2016

UMass student arrested after alleged rape in on-campus residence hall

Amanda Joinson/Collegian File Photo

A University of Massachusetts student has been arrested and charged with raping a woman in an on-campus residence hall.

Weilang Wang, an 18-year-old computer science major, is being held on $7,500 cash bail at the Hampshire County Jail in Northampton. He was arraigned on Wednesday in Eastern Hampshire Superior Court on charges of rape and indecent assault and battery on a person over the age of 14.

The alleged rape was reported to the UMass Police Department by the alleged victim at 11:14 p.m. on Tuesday. According to Deputy Police Chief Patrick Archbald, Wang is accused of raping the woman after she fell asleep while visiting him. Wang is a resident of North Apartment B.

The victim reported the crime to the police shortly after it happened, according to UMass spokesman Daniel Fitzgibbons, who added that this allowed for police to make a quick arrest.

The victim received medical attention immediately, according to Archbald. He declined to comment on if the victim was a UMass student, saying that he wished to protect her privacy.

Wang, who is a Chinese national, will have to relinquish his passport to the probation department if he posts bail, according to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, which also reported that a harassment order prevents Wang from contacting the victim and states that he must remain at least 10 yards away from her at all times.

As of press time, Fitzgibbons did not know if Wang was still enrolled at the University.

The incident comes after reports that four Pittsfield men allegedly raped a UMass student in her room in Pierpont Hall in October. The men have each been charged with three counts of aggravated rape and one of them faces an additional charge of rape.

The men – who were said to be known to the victim – were signed into the building by someone who was not known to them and waited in the victim’s room until she returned, according to the criminal report.

Initially OK with socializing with the men, the victim, a female friend and the four men drank and smoked marijuana together, according to the criminal report. After the friend left, the men allegedly attacked the victim.

University officials said circumstances surrounding Tuesday’s alleged incident differ substantially from the October case, adding that the victim was signed into the room by Wang and that no alcohol was involved.

“This is a very different case than earlier this year,” Fitzgibbons said. He added that because the student was signed into the dorm, there is little the University could have done to improve security in this case.

After the reported rape in October, officials announced that the University would be conducting an external review of security in the residential areas. The process of hiring a company to complete the review is taking longer than expected, but the University expects to make an announcement soon, according to Fitzgibbons.

He said once a company is chosen, additional information on what the study will look like will be released. Archbald said the study will likely look “at all crimes” that occur in residence halls.

In 2011, five rapes were reported on campus, four of which allegedly occurred in residence halls, according to the Annual Security Report for 2011. In 2010, all three reported rapes allegedly occurred in residence halls. The Gazette reported that a September report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety and Security said that rapes are frequently not reported and that 5 to 22 percent of victims report the crime, according to the “Analysis of College Campus Rape and Sexual Assault Reports, 2000-2011.”

Katie Landeck can be reached at klandeck@student.umass.edu.

Comments
6 Responses to “UMass student arrested after alleged rape in on-campus residence hall”
  1. Micah says:

    Great reporting Katie. It’s particularly upsetting to hear about more of these incidents, and to know that it isn’t an isolated occurrence. There needs to be a serious change in attitudes about rape culture where we go from ‘how not to get raped’ to ‘don’t rape’.

  2. Dr Watson says:

    There is no rape culture. The majority of men and women are against rape, just as murder, robbery, and other crimes. It is the one or two percent that are sick cowards; rather than all men like so many naively think.

  3. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    Assuming that Patrick is telling the truth, and that neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor in this, it simply does not add up — there has to be something more.
    .
    Remember that rape is an act of violence, not one of sexual lust, and rapists tend to do one of two things — either overpowering the victim in a remote area where she isn’t able to summons help, or taking advantage of her being so drunk or stoned or high that she isn’t able to look out for herself and while help might be nearby, she isn’t able to summons it.

    In this case, we are told that a totally sober woman fell asleep in the room of someone whom she felt safe enough to have been signed into the room by, at which point he suddenly — apparently “out of the blue” — decided to rape her. It’s possible that this is what happened, it is also possible that the Student Affairs administrators actually care about students — or that we’ll get a foot of snow on the Fourth of July — but, ummm….

    Something is missing. Did the perp slip something into her soda so as to incapacitate her, such as a “Roofie”? Or is it something else — I just can’t help but wonder why he waited until she fell asleep before raping her as (if she was sober) she’s going to wake up really quickly. This doesn’t make sense.

  4. Dr.Reality says:

    While first off, not all the facts are out (leave that to process), This isn’t an SVU rerun Ed. Not all sexual assault involves the “perp” hiding in the bushes, nor the aid of illicit substances. Sometimes guilt and social power are all a rapist needs. Thankfully she turned the tables on him by actually trusting in gents like Dept. Chief “Patrick”.

  5. Dr. Ed Cutting says:

    “Guilt and social power” is also what tends to prevent the victim from reporting the rape, where this victim (reportedly) immediately contacted the police. Not a rape crisis center, not a medical facility, but the police themselves — and immediately.

    Do we know that the victim is female?

    This would all make more sense if this were a heterosexual male who mistook his friend’s sexual interest in him for heterosexual friendship.

    And I will say this: I do not believe that the UMPD, as an institution, is worthy of trust. No one I cared about would ever again report anything to them, and we can start with the work of creative fiction that Lisa Kidwell swore to be the truth about the stolen newspapers, jaw-droppingly contradicted by not one but two different videos of the incident, and apparently this is perfectly OK.

    Never again. No one I care about would report anything to them.
    And when my book comes out, I doubt that anyone else will either…

  6. videntes says:

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times go after your heart.

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