Fresno City College student body president arrested, charged with rape

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno City College Associated Student Governments President, Christopher Washington, has been arrested according to college administrators.

Washington was initially charged with sexual misconduct but now faces charges of rape or other specified crimes and sexual penetration with a foreign object.

In a press release, Fresno City College says police were called Monday evening about three people in a women's restroom possibly engaging in sexual misconduct. When officers arrived, they found a locked restroom stall with those three individuals inside.

According to police, the three people were intoxicated and were all current Fresno City College students.

The officers cited the students and banned them from the campus.

As allegations of sexual misconduct on Fresno City College's campus surfaced students like Monique Reyna wanted to know why they were never notified. She scrolled through her email to show Action News that she had several emails from the school about transfer possibilities, candidate forums but nothing about what happened Monday night.

Sophomore Lavell Wright says he's disappointed by the allegations, saying as ASG president and liaison between students and faculty, Washington should have never been in that compromising situation.

Action News has uncovered court documents that show Washington was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse in 2016, a charge to which he pleaded no contest.

Action News has also obtained an email FCC President Dr. Carole Goldsmith sent faculty and staff: Here it is in its entirety:

"Dear Colleagues,

You may have seen a similar message that came out earlier from FCC Campus News. It was a little confusing so I want to send you this personally.

The statement attached and below is from me regarding an incident that took place on campus last night. The SCCCD Police Department received a call yesterday evening reporting three individuals in a women's restroom of the Math, Science and Engineering Building possibly engaging in sexual misconduct. According to police, the three subjects were intoxicated. All three involved in this incident are current Fresno City College students.

The officers cited a student and placed all three students off-limits to the campus under PC 626.4.

I am sure you will see this in the news and on social media. If you are asked any questions, please direct them to the Public Information Office.

Addressing sexual misconduct and sexual assault is both a moral and legal requirement for colleges, just as it is for our country. The report of sexual misconduct by our students is concerning. This is an active and ongoing investigation. As such, I cannot comment on any specifics at this time. It is not our role to play judge and jury but it is our job to do all in our power to create a safe learning environment. Under Title IX, colleges and universities are responsible for investigating formal complaints, in addition to the criminal investigation. Currently, colleges are required to use a fair and impartial process that uses a preponderance of evidence standard to reach findings in campus proceedings.

Colleges often end up as the sole adjudicators in cases like this due to the fact that many alleged victims do not want to go through the criminal justice systems as they believe it will only result in reliving the trauma. Colleges are not a substitute for the courts. We have two separate and distinct roles to play.

Currently, the individuals in question were arrested and have been placed "off-limits under PC 626.4" by State Center Community College District Police.

Last week during my President Advisory Council meeting, the topic of the national rise of reported sexual misconduct and sexual assault cases was discussed. At that time, faculty representatives and administration agreed to examine the epidemic of sexual misconduct on US College Campuses by hosting an Open Forum. This recent alleged incident heightens the need to have a deeper proactive response. Students and staff will work more closely together to address sexual assault on and off campus. As this event continues to be investigated, I have assembled my administrative team to discuss and review our safety protocols as well as our reporting requirements. What has resulted is a new Fresno City College Task Force on Sexual Assault Response and Prevention to provide expert advice to me on how we might improve our policies and procedures related to sexual misconduct. This Task Force will work closely with State Center Community College District Police officials and FCC's Academic Senate's Sub-Committee on Student Welfare Committee. In the coming days and weeks more information on this new Taskforce will be shared.

Fresno City College prides itself on maintaining profound appreciation of and respect for the dignity and worth of each member of our community of learners in responding to the trust conferred on the college by the public. We are guided by the standards and principles established by our respective professional associations and organizations in our effort to create an ethical college community. To that end, we remain committed to providing a safe learning environment. We encourage those who experience sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and/or sexual assault to report directly to the police, the College Title IX Coordinator, or a member of the administration. These individuals will support and provide you with information regarding options, including: grievance procedures, interim remedies and ongoing emotional support. They will assist in supporting students, eliminating misconduct, preventing its occurrence and addressing its effects.

As required by federal law, all College employees who become aware of an incident of sexual misconduct must notify the Title IX Coordinator or a member of the administration. The Title IX Coordinator is charged with investigating and responding to allegations of sexual misconduct. Reports of sexual assault will be shared only with individuals on a need-to-know basis or as required by law.

Best regards,

Dr. Carole Goldsmith
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