The Addison Independent reported earlier this week that 22-year-old Middlebury College senior Dong Song has been charged with felony sexual assault.
The charges stem from an on-campus encounter that Song had with a female Middlebury student early on the morning of Sunday, May 12th. On Monday, Song pleaded innocent in Addison County Superior Court. If convicted, he faces a jail sentence of three years to life, plus a fine of up to $25,000.
Sexual assault has become a topic of increased conversation on the Middlebury campus and on college campuses across the country. This fall, the well-publicized account of a rape survivor’s experience at Amherst College sparked outrage over the institution’s inadequate response.
At Middlebury, Both institutional and student initiatives have brought to light the issue of sexual assault. Last April, the College revised its Sexual Assault policies, and this year founded a student-run Sexual Assault Advocacy Committee. In addition the first and second annual It Happens Here events have helped to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus.
Students who have experienced sexual assault on campus can file a complaint with the Office of Judicial Affairs, which will then conduct an internal investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, a panel of Community Judicial Board members review the report and determine a finding and sanction. The College also “encourage[s] students who have been sexually assaulted to seriously consider filing criminal charges,” either with the Middlebury Police/Vermont State Police Department or with the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office. For more information about the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policies, visit go/saoc.