Warwick Uni Apologises Over Rape Threat Scandal
11 July 2019, 06:34 | Updated: 11 July 2019, 06:38
Warwick University's vice-chancellor has apologised over the handling of complaints by female students who were threatened with rape in a social media group chat.
The admission came after an independent review published on Wednesday found the incident had left a "legacy of mistrust" at the university.
Students in the group had shared messages encouraging other members to rape others at the university and also used anti-Semitic and racist language.
Vice-chancellor Stuart Croft said: "We made mistakes in our handling of the situation, including in how we communicated with the victims and with our community.
"We wholeheartedly apologise. Everyone has the right to feel safe on campus.
"Sexual misconduct or harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable."
The independent review, carried out by Dr Sharon Persaud, said the university's initial investigation was carried out by its director of press and media.
There was a "general sense" the university "had been more concerned with its own reputational interests than in a fair or just assessment of the case", according to the review.
The review recommends that in future complaints of this nature are dealt with by more specialist investigators.
In February it was confirmed that two male students would not return to the university in September following the incident.
There was a backlash against the university's handling of the case at the time, with students tweeting #ShameOnYouWarwick.
The "overwhelming view was that the university appeal process let down the victims", according to the review.
It states other women were affected by the incident but were not included in the university's investigation.
Police looked into the incident but it was decided no action should be taken, the review adds.
Mr Croft said the university accepted the findings and recommendations of the report.
The incident was first reported by Warwick University newspaper The Boar last year after it obtained screenshots of the Facebook group chat.