A 26-year-old man from White Plains, New York, recently broke into a dorm room at SUNY Purchase and attempted to rape a female student living there. The suspect, Dante Beamon, is not a student at the school and did not know the victim. He allegedly walked into the dorm and went into the student's room, where he demanded that she remove her clothes and told her they were going to have sex. When the victim told him to leave, he allegedly choked her with an article of clothing before she managed to escape and alert authorities. Beamon was arrested and is currently in the Westchester County Jail facing five felony charges that also include burglary and sexual abuse. Did the school do enough to protect their student's safety and do they hold any responsibility in this crime?
When an incident happens in a college dorm, the school is acting as a landlord and so is held to the same standards of responsibility and reasonable actions that any landlord would be. The school is required to take reasonable steps to provide a safe environment for students that live on its campus. Questions to ask in this case:
- Was the dorm room adequately lit?
- Were there locks at the entrance to the dorm or any other form of security measures?
- Did the student's room have a lock that worked properly?
- Was the campus on notice that there was a danger to the residents of the dorm and, if so, did they take reasonable actions?
Following this incident, the campus's student affairs office sent a message to all students informing them that a non-student had been apprehended after he "entered an unlocked campus residence and attempted to assault a student." This helps put students on notice and remind them to be extra cautious in their dorm rooms.
If you or your child has been injured on a college campus, you may be entitled to compensation. At Goldstein and Bashner, we have experience handling cases such as these and want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We will guide you through the legal process, let you know what to expect, and answer any questions you have.