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College sued over handling of assault claims

2023-06-04 02:04:56 source:The Washington Post author:Press center6 click:381order

Two former students are suing the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama over claims that it did not properly investigate allegations of sexual assault, a court has heard.

Alyse McCamish, 26, and Sydney Feder, 25, who have waived their right to anonymity, attended the college after moving to Wales as teenagers.

Ms McCamish claims she was sexually assaulted by a fellow student in 2016, an allegation he denied.

The college denies negligence.

Ms McCamish, from Tennessee, USA, moved to Wales aged 19 after auditioning for the college in Chicago.

In a statement she accused the college of "victim blaming and downright shameless lies".

She said staff were "dismissive" when she reported the alleged assaults.

The court heard Ms McCamish told a group of staff about the alleged attacks in 2017.

She said: "I put the situation and the hope and the vulnerability completely in their hands, and I needed help."

She said she asked staff to separate her from the alleged perpetrator.

She did everything she could to avoid him, the court heard.

Mr Weetman, for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, told the court Ms McCamish sent an email to staff after raising the allegations that said: "I feel really comforted in how the situation is being handled."

Ms McCamish said she had been feigning gratitude because the staff were some of the only people she knew in the country and she believed her career was in their hands.

Ms Feder, from Connecticut, USA, who moved to Wales when she was 18, will give evidence in court later in the week.

The judge will not rule on the assault allegations but on the claimed failures of the college.

The case continues.

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