Former starting kicker at the University of Michigan, Brendan Gibbons, has been “permanently separated” from the university according to the school’s office of student conflict resolution. The Michigan graduate student’s expulsion is due to an alleged rape incident that occurred in 2009. Gibbons was accused of raping a woman at a frat party.
You will be permanently separated from the University of Michigan effective December 20, 2013,” reads a Dec. 19, 2013 letter addressed to Gibbons at his Florida residence from the University’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution, which facilitates disciplinary proceedings against students- Michigan Daily (read more about the letter here)
Here’s the public police report that was obtained by Washtenaw Watchdogs in August of 2013. (Read rest of report here)
Washtenaw reported that after the incident, Gibbon’s roommate and All-American teammate Taylor Lewan sent the woman threats:
Shortly after the woman reported the rape, she began to receive threats from Gibbons roommate and fellow football player, Taylor Lewan (now an All-American), that he would rape her again if she pressed charges against Gibbons.
The threats were reported by two other football players to the Office of Student Affairs who reported them to the University police. The University police did a “wellness check” on the young woman and met with Taylor Lewan. They warned Taylor Lewan not to threaten the woman again and that he might face criminal charges. No criminal charges were ever filed by the campus police.
Scene of sexual assault crime (Room 17). Image: Ann Arbor Police Department.
(Click image to enlarge)
Documents obtained by the Michigan Daily also shows that Gibbons was expelled because “preponderance of evidence supports a finding that the Respondent engaged in unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.”
An additional OSCR document signed by [associate director Stacy] Vander Velde and dated Nov. 20, 2013, stated that it was determined by the University that a preponderance of evidence supports “a finding that the Respondent engaged in unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, committed without valid consent, and that conduct was so severe as to create a hostile, offensive, or abusive environment.” The Daily has been told that the respondent referred to in this letter is Gibbons. Complainants in this case are not identified in the documents reviewed by the Daily.
Various sites believe that Michigan covered up the incident since the expulsion occurred after his football days. However, Michigan Daily’s report of the new policy change shows a different picture.
According to the Daily, new university policies have “transitioned a complainant-driven model to one driven by University investigators.”
A 2011 Department of Education mandate clarified that Title IX, the federal anti-sex discrimination statute, obligates universities to actively investigate sexual misconduct allegations. In response, the University reviewed its sexual misconduct allegation policies and implemented an interim policy in August 2011.
The newly effective final policy follows fine-tuning process over the last two years, which brought together the directors of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, the Office of Institutional Equity, the Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Center and a staff member in the Office of the General Counsel. In addition to discussions at several community forums, survivors of sexual assault and other people who were impacted by the previous policy were also consulted.
The truth always comes out whether it is now or later. More information about the incident and expulsion will arise because of the attention this story is getting. I am sure we will hear more about it down the line.