sexual assault | KUOW News and Information

sexual assault

Jessica Ladd was sexually assaulted while at Pomona College, just as one in five college women are. She says she found the reporting process, "more traumatic than the assault" itself. She felt "like I didn't have control. A lack of agency. I wasn't believed, and ended up regretting reporting."

Courtesy of Lily Loofbourow

Bill Radke talks with Lili Loofbourow, culture critic for The Week about The Myth of the Male Bumbler.

Updated at 6:55 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday that President Trump believes the allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault against Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore are "very troubling and should be taken seriously" but stopped short of calling on him to step aside as other national Republican leaders have.

"He believes the people of Alabama should make the decision of who their next senator is going to be," said Sanders, who added later that she didn't expect Trump to campaign for Moore.

Lindy West: 'I'm reclaiming the term witch hunt'

Oct 30, 2017
Author Lindy West lives in Seattle.
Photo by Jenny Jimenez / http://photojj.com

Lindy West knows what she wants men to do next. And it doesn’t involve making shameful public confessions or warning about possible “witch hunts” against powerful men.

This week's panel (L-R): Bill Radke, Joni Balter, Sydney Brownstone, C.R. Douglas
KUOW PHOTO/ KARA MCDERMOTT

This week rape and sexual harassment got a very public face when we learned that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein is accused of raping several women. He’s been settling sexual harassment claims for decades, and many, many people knew about it and said nothing.

Updated Saturday 4:15 p.m

Nelly, the rapper behind hits "Hot In Herre" and "Ride Wit Me," was arrested Saturday morning for alleged sexual assault during a tour stop in Washington state.

The Auburn Police Department said in a statement that a woman called 911 at 3:48 a.m. Saturday and said she was assaulted by Nelly, whose given name is Cornell Haynes Jr. After a police investigation, Nelly was taken into custody an hour later.

Claire Dederer and Vanessa Grigoriadis at University Lutheran Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

This talk by and discussion with author Vanessa Grigoriadis explores the complicated politics of modern sexuality. It pushes the conversation toward the establishment of healthier, more informed attitudes about sex and consent in an often confusing social landscape.

University of Washington campus at night.
Flickr Photo/Alireza Borhani (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/GgzJYf

Sexual assault has been “a scourge on American (college) campuses” for generations, according to Vanessa Grigoriadis, the author of "Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus."

The Trump Administration announced Friday it's revoking federal guidance on how campuses investigate sexual assault.

Schools now have the option to require clear evidence that what an accuser says is true, called "the clear and convincing evidence" standard. That's a higher burden of proof than the Obama-era rules.

In Cambridge, Mass., a woman named Kristin sits down on a stone bench to talk about a common but rarely discussed injury that's starting to grow along with the opioid epidemic: rape.

Executive Director of Shepherd's Counseling Services Janice Palm poses for a portrait on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at Shepherd's in Seattle. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

There is a crisis that many of us would rather not face — childhood sexual abuse. 

According to Janice Palm, who works with adult survivors of sexual abuse at Shepard’s Counseling Service, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18.

Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon
KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Ed Murray's resignation is sending ripples through the Seattle mayor's race.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, left, walks past his husband, Michael Shiosaki, center, and his attorney, Bob Sulkin, to make a statement to media members Friday, April 7, 2017, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced his resignation, effective at 5 p.m. Wednesday, after his cousin became the fifth man to publicly accuse him of sexual abuse. 

The Department of Education will change its approach to campus sexual misconduct and begin a public notice and comment process to issue new regulations, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced today. In a speech at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School, DeVos decried "a system run amok," "kangaroo courts" and repeatedly emphasized the plight of the accused. "One rape is one too many ... one person denied due process is one too many," she said. Outside, protesters yelled, "Stop protecting rapists!"

A bit of background.

The author around the time that she was first assaulted. Tara Weaver
Courtesy of Tara Austen Weaver

Editor's note: Tara Weaver posted this essay on her personal Facebook page after the second presidential debate, when Donald Trump said that his talk of sexual assault was merely locker room banter. More than 4,400 people shared this story, and hundreds commented with their own devastating stories in the comments.

A former deputy director at Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife is awaiting trial on charges he broke into the home of a co-worker and raped her while she slept.

The case has revealed a sexually-charged culture within the agency that one employee described as “a pattern of behavior that was not hidden.”

USA Gymnastics announced Tuesday that it will adopt all 70 of the recommendations in an independent review of its policies about reporting abuse. An investigation by The Indianapolis Star last year found that at least 368 gymnasts have alleged they were sexually assaulted by adults working in the sport.

David Schmader at KUOW.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with David Schmader about the essay he wrote for KUOW's Seattle Story Project titled, "My teacher abused me. I didn’t realize it until 20 years later."

In high school, Schmader was one of the theater kids. He even convinced his parents to let some family friends become his legal guardian so he could go to a school 20 miles away where they had one of the best speech and drama programs in all of Texas. He would rehearse before school, after school, during lunch.

He even started taking private lessons from one of his teachers. Schmader ended up having his first sexual experience with this man. 

Delvonn Heckard's legal team: Julie Kays, left, and Lincoln Beauregard.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Delvonn Heckard, the man who accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of abusing him, withdrew his lawsuit this week. But he said he did it at his attorneys' behest; if it were up to him, he would have forged ahead. 

“I put my college on hold and everything just to deal with this, and then for this to happen, it’s just a lot to take in,” he said. “But I guess my attorneys know what they’re doing.”

The author, left, in high school.
Courtesy of David Schmader

This story takes place in the year 1986, in the great state of Texas.

After more than 30 hours of jury deliberations, there is still no conclusion to the sexual assault trial of comedian Bill Cosby.

The members of the jury say they are deadlocked and "cannot come to a unanimous consensus on any of these counts." The judge has ordered jurors to return to deliberations and try — again — to reach a decision.

Cosby has been charged with multiple felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, over allegations that he drugged and molested Andrea Constand, then a Temple University employee, in 2004.

Eli Sanders, Rob McKenna and Mayor Ed Murray participate in KUOW's 'Week in Review' in front of a live audience at the Vera Project on Fri. July 31, 2015.
KUOW File Photo/Gil Aegerter

Attorneys for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray have formally answered a lawsuit that accuses Murray of raping an underage teen boy in the mid-1980s.

The documents filed in court this week deny the allegations and request the lawsuit be dismissed.  


Lawyers for Bill Cosby will get their first glimpse on Monday of potential jurors who will decide the fate of the 79-year-old comedian in his criminal trial on sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania.

Cosby has maintained his innocence in the face of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault over a 2004 encounter at his suburban Philadelphia mansion.

Now, after one and a half years of hearings, the trial is finally about to begin, pitting the story of Andrea Constand against Cosby's defense.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Swedish prosecutors have announced they are dropping the country's rape investigation of Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder, who has long denied the allegation, has been holed up at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 to avoid Sweden's extradition request.

Amy Radil

When it comes to the sex scandal surrounding Mayor Ed Murray, we haven’t heard much from people who knew him as a young man in the 1980s, when the abuse he’s accused of allegedly took place.


Former Mayor Ed Murray at a press conference in the University District in September 2016.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When Jeff Simpson tried to sue Ed Murray a decade ago alleging sexual abuse, Murray's lawyer wrote back, “Your client is totally untrustworthy and will lie, cheat or steal as necessary to get what he wants.”

Brian Williams was Simpson’s attorney back then. He says the man who is now suing Murray better be prepared for more of that.


The top attorney in the state of Washington is bringing light to a pattern of alleged sexual assaults at a small-town farm. Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a federal lawsuit (Spanish version here) against Horning Brothers LLC and one of its supervisors.


KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

This week the man accusing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing him when he was 15 has revealed his identity. D.H. is Delvonn Heckard, a 46-year-old Kent man. Murray once again denied ever having a sexual relationship with Heckard.

Meanwhile, Seattle's mayoral race just grew by two candidates. Former mayor Mike McGinn announced he will be running along with waterfront activist Cary Moon.

The man known for the last week just by his initials, D.H., has revealed himself as the person who filed a lawsuit accusing Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexual abuse in the 1980s.

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