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Authorities Release Details of Alleged Assault at Simon's Rock
12:58PM / Thursday, October 17, 2019

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The details of an alleged assault at Bard College at Simon's Rock more than two weeks ago have been released by the authorities, and several aspects of the account aren't adding up.
 
The victim, an unidentified student of color, has said they were assaulted on a trail on the college campus and dragged into the nearby woods. This allegedly occurred on Friday, Sept. 27, and the campus safety office was alerted at 2 p.m. that day. The student was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center, treated for minor injuries and released. 
 
The investigation into the reported assault continues, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, but the DA and Great Barrington Police have provided more details "given the unease that the complaint has caused for the community, particularly for Simon's Rock students and faculty."
 
According to authorities, the student reported being rendered unconscious and being dragged about 75 yards into the woods along a wooden path with dirt and mud but neither the student nor the any of the student's clothing had any dirt or debris. 
 
• The student reported later waking with cuts through the student's clothing, resulting in cuts to the student's torso. The superficial wounds on the student's torso did not align with the cuts on the student's clothing.
 
• There also were no defensive wounds on the complainant and records provided thus far do not provide a medical reason for unconsciousness.
 
• Investigators conducted three interviews of the student and no description of the alleged assailant was provided to investigators during any of the interviews.
 
• No surveillance footage of the area is available and none of the witnesses in the area at the time reported seeing any other potentially involved parties in the vicinity.
 
Investigators from the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, in collaboration with Great Barrington Police, conducted numerous interviews, searched the grounds, searched electronics, and sent items to the State Police Crime Lab for forensic testing.
 
Investigators are looking into all aspects of the case, from the nature of the original complaint to potential motivations behind the alleged assault. The investigation remains ongoing by law enforcement and forensic testing has yet to be finalized.
 
A significant amount of resources have been devoted to the complaint. The investigation involves multiple law enforcement agencies including Great Barrington Police, Simon's Rock Campus Safety, the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and forensic scientists assigned to the State Police Crime Lab. The U.S. Attorney's Office has been notified because of the potential racial motives for the alleged attack.
 
Anyone with additional information that can aid in the investigation is asked to contact Great Barrington Police at 413-528-0306.
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