Student arrested for alleged rape in residence hall

An Oswego State student was arrested for first-degree rape Feb. 13 by University Police.

Abhay Pant, 18, is a resident of Hart Hall from New Delhi, India. According to a statement from Julie Blissert, the director of Public Affairs, Pant allegedly entered the room of another resident and sexually assaulted the victim in the early morning hours of Friday.

Pant was arraigned in Oswego Town Court and remanded to Oswego County Correctional Facilities on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond and is scheduled to reappear in court on Wednesday, according to the statement. No other information regarding the arrest is known at this time.

According to the UP daily crime and incident report, on Feb. 14 there was a rape reported in Scales Hall. The report does not note if an arrest was made in that case.

UP could not be reached for comment at the time of publication and the Office of Public Affairs did not have any additional information on either case.

In the 2014 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report published by UP, in compliance with federal regulations, there were four reported incidents of forcible sexual offenses. This is down from six in 2012 and five in 2011.

According to the 2014-2015 Oswego State Student Handbook, students accused of criminal violations, including sexual assaults, are subject to disciplinary action by the university.

Oswego State President Deborah Stanley sent an email to the student body on Sept. 8 condemning sexual assault.

“Our college has zero tolerance for sexual assault. We know that colleges, including SUNY Oswego, are not immune from this vicious crime, but we are committed to ensuring that our students are safe and that the campus is a welcoming and nurturing place where all can pursue an education, Stanley wrote.  Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact.  We take immediate and determined action when we learn of any violation of this nature. We investigate all reports, whether or not a formal complaint has been filed. Any person or any organization found culpable in a sexual assault will not remain a member of our college community.”

On Jan. 27, Stanley sent an email to the student body sharing the “Sexual Violence Victim/Survivor Bill of Rights” with students.

No email was sent to the student body notifying them of the arrest or the second incident. This follows school policy, according to Blissert.

“The college issues notices to the college community when a specific threat is ongoing,” Blissert said in an email. “If there were an assault and the assailant was unknown, at large and still considered to be a serious threat to people’s safety, the college would issue an alert. The college issues notices to the college community about more generic threats − sexual assault, discrimination, hazardous lakeshore conditions, flu, etc. − periodically as deemed relevant.”

Blissert added that police matters are reported in their blotter online and biweekly in the Campus Update’s Police Report and that when UP makes felony arrests, local media are notified.