Current Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:36:19 -0500
CORRECTION: Due to a source error, a previous version of this article said Gambill’s ex-boyfriend was found not guilty in a 5-0 decision on two counts of sexual harassment. The man was found not guilty of two counts of sexual misconduct, still in a 5-0 decision. The article has been amended to reflect this change.
An attorney representing sophomore Landen Gambill’s ex-boyfriend says her public accusations — including that the man raped her — have been inaccurate and damaging.
John Gresham, an attorney at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, said Thursday that his client decided to file a complaint against Gambill with the UNC Honor Court when she publicly soiled his character with one word: rapist.
“It reached a boiling point when what (Gambill) was doing and saying was effectively affecting his ability to take full advantage of the academic and social environment on campus,” Gresham said.
“It’s not that she’s just talking about rape, it’s that she’s continuing to make accusations that had been fully heard and adjudicated last spring,” he said.
In the spring of 2012, Gambill filed a report of sexual assault to UNC against her ex-boyfriend. Gresham said the case was adjudicated in a 20-hour hearing by a University Hearings Board of two students, two faculty members and one administrator.
Three members of the board — one student, one faculty member and the administrator — were female, Gresham said.
The board, which was utilized while UNC was in the process of removing sexual assault from the student-led Honor Court’s jurisdiction, found Gambill’s ex-boyfriend not guilty — in a 5-0 decision — on two counts of sexual misconduct, Gresham said.
He was found guilty in a 4-1 decision of verbal harassment, Gresham added.
Gambill could not be reached to respond to Gresham’s statements Thursday night.
Now, nearly a year since being found not guilty of rape, the man has filed a complaint — but not to punish Gambill, Gresham said.
Gambill was charged Feb. 22 with a conduct violation of the Honor Code that claims she engaged disruptive or intimidating behavior against her ex-boyfriend.
“My client is seeking no specific sanction against Ms. Gambill,” Gresham said. “He would like to move on with his life, and he would like for her to move on with hers.
“She may not have used his name, but the identifying characteristics she’s given about him make him easily identifiable.”
Gambill has said her advocacy, which she said is aimed at UNC’s treatment of sexual assault survivors, hasn’t given identifiable characteristics.
Gambill and Survivors and Allies for Empowerment and Reform — SAFER Carolina — a gender-based violence awareness group, will rally on the steps of South Building today to demand that Gambill’s charge be dropped.
Undergraduate Student Attorney General Amanda Claire Grayson said only student attorneys general exercise authority in charge decisions.
She said a charge can only be dropped because of a change in evidence, or if a complainant decides to drop it.
Gambill said Thursday afternoon that she’s confident the charge could be dropped.
“Even if it isn’t dropped, our efforts won’t be frivolous in the long run,” Gambill said.
“We need to speak out about how this is wrong so that no survivors have something like this happen to them.”
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