Editorial: UVA Violated The Jeanne Clery Act AND Failed To Report Another Sex Crime

Charlottesville, VA– Late Tuesday evening, prompted by questions by the Editor In Chief of about a recent rape which occurred at the DZ sorority on Chancellor Street, The University of Virginia sent out an alert to students.

However, as required of UVA by the Clery Act, the alert was 10 days late. Charlottesville Police recorded a police report of a forcible rape on September 17, 2010. 

The Jeanne Clery Act, founded by her parents, Howard and Connie Clery, is a Federal Law applicable to all Higher Learning Institutions that participate in Federal funding assistance which requires mandatory reporting for specified crimes.

Constance and Howard Clery founders of Security ON Campus, Inc. after their 19 year old daughter Jeanne was brutally raped, tortured and murdered while sleeping in her dorm on April 5, 1986.

Fellow Lehigh University co-eds propped 3 different doors open, in violation of security rules, unknowingly allowing her killer access.

The bill which became a Federal law, was based on the fact that 38 different violent offenses occurred at Lehigh U that the student body was never made aware of prior to Clery’s murder. Had they been, it is almost certain not only would the automatic locking doors have been inaccessible, but parents and students combined would have demanded security upgrades to prevent such a heinous event.

Following the email that went to 23,000 students at 11:01 PM September 28, Allen Groves, Dean of Students, and Lt. Melissa Fielding of the University Police Department, held an impromptu press conference Wednesday, as a follow up to the email alert with some additional background information. 



Time line Breakdown

9–17 1:15am UVA student attacked from behind, raped and beaten on Delta Zeta House, Chancellor Street.

9-17 Noon- Email Equivalent to “Whisper Down the Rotunda” Begins:

Received a third party email, NOT from the victim, indicating a stranger attack had occurred to a sister, as previously reported at, at DZ House on Chancellor St.  We forwarded that on to our endless list of associate deans. They called the Sorority president for more  information so that we might begin “acting upon it”.

Forcfondlfrat9–18 Additional Sexual Assault Occurs At Fraternity on Madison Lane 3AM 

*Unreported To Students To Date*





UVA Robbery 09189–18 A Robbery Occurs During the Course of Above, Same Frat 3AM 

*Unreported To Students To Date*





UVA burg 919

9–19 A Breaking And Entering Occurs, Undisclosed Sorority House, Chancellor St

*Unreported To Students To Date*





9-20 Associate Dean reaches out directly to the victim to ..”get the details of the attack and also to assist the student. No contact made with victim. 

9–20 Associate Deans Office receives call from a female student’s Mother that her daughter was nearly sexually assaulted in a pantry at a Fraternity party at approximately midnight, September 18. Add additionally, Groves speaks to a man claiming to be assaulted due to his sexual preference, which would be considered a hate crime, also reportable under the Clery Act. According to Groves and Fielding no police report has been filed. (Editors Note: If this took place at the same “undisclosed frat” as the 3am forcible fondling and robbery incidents– Is this the same perp? So he never fled the scene? So, we have 2 incidents that have Charlottesville PD police reports, one of a sex crime in nature, and an additional attempted sex crime reported directly to administration on 9/20 within a three hour span, at either the same fraternity, or a neighboring one, and it takes 8 days to notify anyone, and they still have not interviewed anyone at the “undisclosed” frat regarding the incidents?

9-21 Internal Meeting about the 9/17 forcible rape but to UVA, they are  “unclear” sex assault occurs, still no contact with, or direct information with the victim. ( Editors Note: Groves says Charlottesville PD has still not classified the incident as a sex assault. (Editors Note: This is ludicrous and utter bs. The report specifically states “forcible rape”.  I can tell you as an absolute fact, that members of the sorority AS WELL AS the other sororities on Chancellor sent emails back and forth to alert each other which specifically included details of the assault).

9-21 Associate Dean contacts Cville PD. Was told .. Yes, investigating the incident, but would not be in a position to disclose whether there had been an assault or sexual assault  also, at that point. We then conferred with the university police to see if there was anything they could tell us so that we could determine whether or not a sex assault occurred in that setting.

9-23  Sorority Meeting held, without the victim, to discuss outreach opportunities.

9-27 First time Associate dean heard directly from the victim in response to the outreach efforts, first time she was in a position to come forward (out of hospital). Victim had to cancel and has rescheduled.

9-28 “.. Certainly by last evening… after conferring with Lt. Fielding and others I felt we had enough information.. Even though to my knowledge Charlottesville Police have not classified this as a sexual assault..”  but we believe we had enough, even though it was not our investigation, it was Charlottesville Police responsibility to alert..” (Editors Note: Not a syllable about the email I sent to Ms. Wood, who was unaware of the incident, and very responsive to me. The alert went out at 11:01 PM, 45 minutes after our article regarding same, was published. In this editors opinion, there were no plans whatsoever to alert students until I requested a comment, specifying it was to be included in the piece we were finishing regarding the fact that the rape had not yet been disclosed as an alert, as required by the Clery Act.  This was done to balance what was certain to be seen as a scandalous announcement in the wake of Morgan Harrington and Yeardley Love murders, and days after the University’s “Day of Dialogue.”  I felt they should certainly be offered an opportunity to address the issue from their perspective, the email was their response to that invitation).


Clearly A Clery Violation… Again

The Articles for reporting within the Clery Act are unambiguous. While I understand the need to alert students and parents with credible and useful information, this is not for UVA officials to decide unilaterally. In fact, it is not for them to ever need to “corroborate” or interview a victim regarding the details of any crime committed against them as identified in the Clery Act for UVA to observe the requirements of them under the Federal law.

In short, they have their own police. They have their “online form”. They have Charlottesville PD police report direct feed.

In 2004, The Board of Education found that UVA violated the Clery Act by requiring a rape victim to sign a confidentiality agreement, but gave them a pass by not imposing sanctions because there was some confusion as to the reporting rules and protocol. UVA was informed they will be assessed a $27,500 sanction fee for any future violations.

As I am certain many of you are over my bloviations about the subject, and in the interest of disclosure, I have personal ties to Lehigh University.

Also in the interest of disclosure, I am embarrassed to say that I was not aware that Ms. Clery’s murder occurred there until researching the Clery Act.

Some Posts from members of your local community for consumption, I will be updating poignant comments. Poster Starbucks:

Regarding the “off grounds” issue, I’m sorry but I find University’s excuses in this area ludicrous and totally disingenuous.

The Clery Act, passed in 1990, unambiguously provides that its reporting requirements are not limited to crimes occurring on campus/”Grounds.” The University has had twenty years to figure out how to comply with this law, and yet its officials act as dumbfounded as ever. One would think that UVA is the only school in the nation with a significant portion of its student body living off campus/Grounds, but in close proximity to the University. Of course, this situation is commonplace.

If UVA is having such a difficult time dealing with the “off grounds” issue, I suggest that President Sullivan get in contact with the appropriate officials at her previous institutions. Sullivan spent most of her career at the University of Texas where 80% of its undergraduate student body lives off campus, as opposed to 57% at UVA. She then spent about four years at the University of Michigan where 37% of its undergraduates live off campus. There is no need to reinvent the wheel here; if UVA officials can’t figure out how to report crimes occurring near its campus, they should go study how other universities are dealing with this perplexing problem.

The implication that there is no communication between the Charlottesville Police and the UVA police/campus officials simply stretches the bounds of credulity.

UVA is required by the Clery Act to provide:

(C) A statement of current policies concerning campus law enforcement, including—

(ii) the working relationship of campus security personnel with State and local law enforcement agencies, including whether the institution has agreements with such agencies, such as written memoranda of understanding, for the investigation of alleged criminal offenses; and

(iii) policies which encourage accurate and prompt reporting of all crimes to the campus police and the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

I can’t seem to find UVA’s policies in this area. I challenge the University to prominently publish all of the required Clery Act policy statements on its website.

UVA is on notice:

“This determination finds that the University violated the Clery Act. However, as was noted in our July 2004 Final Determination in another case, there was apparent confusion in the higher education community regarding the intersection of the disclosure requirement under the Clery Act and the strictures of FERPA. For this reason, the Department will not impose any fines or other sanctions at this time. However, UVA is advised that any subsequent violations of the Clery Act will result in a referral for the imposition of a civil penalty up to $27,500 per infraction.”

So please UVA, stop the excuses and clean up your act now.



Madeline Tanner, Elizabeth Morton, contributing editors

Images, Youtube upload by Klaasend 





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  1. Blink says:

    I consider this a mini-win in Morgan and Yeardley’s name.

    Students were notified in 3 hours. Outstanding effort by Chief Gibson.

    Now, let’s find the kid, who has a freakish physical description to someone we have discussed before.

  2. localcvillegirl says:

    I agree, Eloise. Nuts.

  3. Saramom says:

    Thanks for posting–great that students were notified so quickly!

    Are you referring to someone who lives on Monacan Trail Road?

  4. first-time says:

    UGH. Has it occurred to VSP or Lt. Rader that if they released more information, it may prompt more information to come out!!! So freakin frustrating. If you don’t read here, or formerly on FM, how would you know to be on the look-out for ….whatever? I just do not understand. ONE YEAR! There are obviously women at risk in the area! How about some info LE?!?!?!

  5. cosmo says:

    has/have Morgan’s murderer(s) been arrested yet?

  6. acho says:

    Are you referring to someone who lives on Monacan Trail Road?


    That individual’s registration as a RSO was last renewed on Sept 9. Let’s hope they are working on that monthly renewal TODAY.

  7. Judi says:

    Take some younger looking female cops, dress them up like college kids and plant them in and around UVA.

    These pigs need drawn out from under their rock, like taunting a dog with a bone. The dog can’t help himself. I don’t think these SOB’s can either. Let their own evilness drive them to their own downfall because they are on auto pilot and I believe that it’ll steer itself right to police if they plant some female cops in there.

    Just my opinion. Trying to think of different approaches to catch all of these bastards because obviously, the current approach is not working.

  8. Judi says:

    AND…..I think they should be putting “sketches” out to the public from the victims. Let these guys see their own faces all over the news.

    The public can be a great tool to LE if they chose to use it. It does not seem that is a tool Le want to use though in Morgan’s case or these latest attacks. Somebody knows these people. Somebody knows….

  9. Cat says:

    localcvillegirl says:

    I don’t know why it’s important to keep the COD from the public, but apparently LE (and maybe even the Harringtons) feel it’s necessary at this point.

    I am not sure that this information “is” being kept from the public, as stated in an article printed in July. Perhaps how she was killed is still not determined:

    “The medical examiner’s office in Richmond has determined that Harrington’s death was a homicide. Details of how she was killed are still under investigation, a spokesman for the office said. He declined to say if there was evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.”

    To me, if the medical examiner had not officially determined how she was killed, 5 months after she was found, a defense attorney could raise a great deal of doubt at trial about the circumstances surrounding her death. I sure hope this is not the case.

    Under VA statute, they never have to publicly reveal COD. I believe the COD matches the findings of the MOD or their would be no “homicide” classification. The classification in itself drives certain protocol as to it’s investigation.

  10. Hummingbird says:

    RE 43 localcvillegirl says:

    October 13, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Great post localcvillegirl pondering about the wave of violence ..toxins in the air….something in the water
    how to get our heads around it, how to research and advocate and try not to blame…how to try and be patient …it is not easy.

    Onwards through the fog friends.

  11. Houston Mom says:

    Who cares? I’ve never, ever seen an investigation “kept” so secret!?!
    Never, not in any nation-wide news. Why here? Special? I don’t think so!
    This case (IMO), is going to be solved … by Blink, et al!
    Sooo, if Virginia wants someone’s blog to protect their citizens and (young women), they’ve got it.
    This has gotten more than just worrisome – now it is just plain absurb!
    I don’t “buy” into the perception that: “well, she’s dead”, “I can’t do anything about it” – “so, life goes on!”
    I don’t think Blink does either!!!

  12. Houston Mom says:

    Cosmo … lend me your fence!!!!!!!!!

  13. dr. pepper says:


    I have never thought about the loss of evidence due to the fact of where the abduction took place in regards to how you described it. I CANT BELIEVE that never crossed my mind. You are right in all regards above.

    In regards to the grand conspiracy thing: I dont buy in to it either and
    I hope that my recent comments about the decision makers at the UVA and the police departments was not one that seemed to be suggesting that.

    Just in case, I will clarify that I am only wondering

    1. If there is any additional information LE could release to the public that would not jeporadize the case

    2. If so, (because it is likely)….who makes the call on what info is release?

    Virginia’s police departments (ALL) clearly operate under the philosophy of “HUSH HUSH”

    This philosophy is led by SOMEONE WHO CALLS THE SHOTS.

    But believes that police should not involve the public whatsoever during active investigations.

    Which is a likely reason for the HIGH NUMBER OF UNSOLVED MURDERS in the state spanning decades.

    Am I wrong when I think the state has an unusually high number of unsolved cases? IF so, PLEASE correct me.

    ——————-Judi or Eloise——————-
    I am on my phone right now- so I cant go back and look at old comments….one of you just posted about the success of a case where they asked for voluntary DNA samples in the 80′s.

    1. BIG KUDDOS for thinking to research cases where this type of investigation was successful

    2. IMO this WILL NOT EVER HAPPEN. Although it would make sense….they did this in Fairfax RIGHT BEFORE the 2005 assault (I believe—Ill go back and check to verify)
    -It was such a fiasco, PR NIGHTMARE, law suit waiting to happen
    and would be classified as RACIAL/GENDER PROFILING

    The case you referenced occured in the 80′s… today’s politically correct enviornment….you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re not gonna bark up that tree.

    ALL IMO____________________________________________________________

    ****************WHAT ABOUT THIS?

    Can we research and find a case where a crime was solved BY SHARING MORE CRITICAL INFO WITH THE PUBLIC??

    If we found a few…maybe we could use them in a message to LE asking for more info.

    //////////Change does not occur unless it is demanded/////////////////

    ////if there is more info that could be released to the public without harming the integrity of the case that would help them solve it…………..


    ////////////////RIGHT NOW…….IT SEEMS LIKE THEY DONT////////////

    Maybe a little bit of proof it does work plus some prayer….someone would get the message

    does this make sense?

  14. Judi says:

    OT but this Zahra Baker case is more than I can bear. A beautiful 10 year old cancer survivor. This poor child has already beaten cancer and wears two hearing aids and a prosthetic leg as a result of the cancer. This child has already endured AND OVERCOME so much in her short life only to be abused and obviously killed by her dad and stepmom. It sick. Just sick.

  15. katie says:

    Re: Concerned Mom says:
    October 13, 2010 at 9:38 am

    What? A “misunderstanding” WTH does that mean? Did this man, or did he not, offer candy to these children to get in his vehicle.

    Someone, I think In Memory of Gini, reported getting an alert from Albemarle County Public schools about the Culpepper incidents and within the message they said they had not linked these to the another school attempt. BUT, there was also a similar attempt in Waynesboro within the last three weeks. Is that a forth one between Culpepper and Albemarle? Mistake, my a$$! No decent man would lure a child for any decent reason.

  16. MsL says:

    Young woman found dead at San Diego College. Identity not yet released, but her cousin says she is the mother of an 8 month old child. LE believes her death is a case of domestic balance, not a random act. Hopefully, if LE is correct in their assessment, her killer will be identified very quickly.

  17. MsL says:

    Correction, had just read a local story about banking. LE believes her death is a case of domestic violence.

  18. Cat says:

    Blink Says:

    Under VA statute, they never have to publicly reveal COD. I believe the COD matches the findings of the MOD or their would be no “homicide” classification. The classification in itself drives certain protocol as to it’s investigation.


    I am by no means questioning your logic, just thinking here, but what if the homicide determination was based on circumstantial evidence? In this case, would a specific COD be needed? I believe the homicide determination in the Caylee Anthony case worked this way. I am by no means proficient in this area; the wording of the comment is what baffles me “Details of how she was killed are still under investigation”. It has me believe that the specific COD was not officially determined.

    That is actually a great question, but I respectfully disagree that a homicide determination can be made on circumstantial evidence. On some level, there has to be physical/direct evidence finding, it cannot be subjective, otherwise it is undetermined or suspicious. You may be referring to the COD being undetermined, tehcnically speaking although it has a direct evidence basis, it is circumstantial in it’s “finding” if it cannot be determined.

  19. alexandra says:

    Gil Harrington’s thoughts from October 10th, 2010On October – 11 – 20101 COMMENT
    We have lived in this home for almost 20 years. Morgan came to this house as a babe in arms and learned how to walk here with her soft baby feet, tip toeing around.

    In the considerable span of our occupation we have had only a few episodes of bird interaction. I think I can remember two or three times a small sparrow got through the door to our screened deck and had to be redirected back to the doorway and freedom. That is really about it for the bird contact here. I do put out seed for the pleasure of watching the birds eat and realize, as I do, the decadence of the ritual as human beings in Zambia would be most pleased to have the sustenance of this throw away food.

    That has been the extent of my interaction with birds here; I feed, I watch with pleasure as they eat, (in truth the squirrels mostly eat but they are beautiful and worth watching also). About two months ago, it started happening – bird strikes, frequent and relentless! Mourning doves slamming into the windows of the house; pressed on the glass over my kitchen sink is the imprint of a cushioned downey bird’s breast and outstretched wings. – an otherworldly Rorschach of desperation.

    At first I felt uneasy that it happened so much; birds pelting the house with their bodies. I would buff off the eerie smudges their impact left from every window. I never find any bodies under the window point of contact but our house is festooned by the marks. Our living room window has the 2 4 1 dots on it in reflective discs; five bird strikes prints circle the 2 4 1 emblem.

    This phenomenon was disturbing to me until a wise friend explained, “of course it is happening and no, it is not Morgan at the window crashing into the glass seeking re-entry, but it is a type of Morgan energy still present and reactive. You cannot stop yourself from the heart cry of searching and pleading you put out as Morgan’s parents any more than the birds can stop themselves from responding. The visceral gut level screeching summons you emanate must be answered by the universe in some way.”

    I see bird strikes. I understand and am grateful but wish instead that the very rocks and tress would rise up and move to spit out the abomination, poison, of a monster who wrung the life from our golden bird, Morgan Dana Harrington

  20. diana h. says:

    Dan and Gil Harrington on the Today show interviewed by Meredith Viera.

    The Fairfax sketch was shown repeatedly. DNA connection to Morgan discussed.

    The Harringtons are such lovely people. They consistently hold themselves with such grace and composure in the face of the unthinkable.

    One of Morgan’s paintings sat framed on the coffee table in front of them. Interestingly, it’s the one of the single eye looking outward at the world reflected in her eye. Gil talked about how it showed Morgan’s complexity and depth.

    I wished the interview could have gone on longer. I think Meredith V. did a very good job, especially in getting that sketch on camera again. VSP number to call with info was shown as well.

  21. Mom3.0 says:

    It is hard to believe that a year has almost come and gone since the world lost a shiny soul- Since Gil lost her beautiful girl, and hopes of sharing recipes and so much more. Since Dan lost his baby, his pride and joy- full of such potential, since a brother lost his confidante, his friend, his shadow, his little sister.
    My heart is heavy lately with October 17th looming on the horizon, with no arrests, and no new hope of arrests. This week is passing, yet it is almost as if I am dreading Oct 17th, because, for me, it seems as if that horible night will play out again, its almost as if I believe, if we could solve this before October 17th comes, that Morgan Harrington and her family would be spared, and that none of the last year really happened.

    I know that is not the case, and even if her killers were brought to justice before or after October 17th, Morgan would still be gone… but if I am feeling this way with the 17th looming, I can only imagine the thoughts and feelings that may be running through the Harringtons minds…

    My thoughts are with all of you, who are still here and still care, and with Blink.-

    And to The Harrington’s my prayers of strength and peace and hope- May your appearance today, bring the much needed info-

  22. CentVA Native Away says:

    Does anyone know if there is a link from NBC featuring Dan and Gil Harrington from this morning? I missed it and have not been able to find one as of yet. TIA.

    It is in the new piece, you can play it right there.

  23. CVa Native Away says:

    B, thank you. I’ve been linking directly to this article exclusively over the last couple of weeks. Looking forward to reading the new entry and watching the Today segment.

  24. Minnie Penney says:

    Dan and Gil were on JVM on CNN. I think it repeats later and maybe they will be on Nancy Grace. Sketch was shown.

  25. A Texas Grandfather says:

    Hooray for Blink and all of us. UVA is now down to three hours time for notification rather than ten days as before.

    Let us hope they can get it down to even less the next time. They are getting the message.

    It took just 15 min. to completely lock down the UT campus at Austin because of the recent shooter. There are more than twice the number of students on this campus as UVA.

    In honor of Morgan, Yardley, and the unamed victims of crime there, this is a win people. We get few of them in this work.

    Take five minutes and envision the girl that did not end up in a field, or sexually assaulted as a result.

    It is not the end, I know, but it is a start. If we cannot start, we spin our wheels, and that activity holds no honor.

  26. rvrb says:

    FYI: Another girl was robbed last night and the UVa police sent around an email notice.

  27. OldDBReports says:

    Lehigh University is where the law came from? That’s right in the Allentown-Bethlehem area, about a half hour from Reading with its big crime zones along Hwys. 222 and 61. That’s a well-known crime corridor, in fact Congress allocated money to help Pennsylvania deal with the problem of crime especially along Hwy. 222. Maybe Virginia needs some special money to handle crimes like this, too, and extra laws to force them to do rape kits and process them every single time a woman reports being raped. Are all of these recent reports an upswing in the crime rate, or are we just hearing about more of it now? I think people deserve to know what’s going on in their communities, no more under reporting to keep the crime rate artifically low!

    Either way, it seems that way too much is happening without enough arrests, someone has to do something about this politically.

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