BOULDER — Students at the University of Colorado Boulder are rallying against a fellow classmate who is accused of raping a woman following a sorority event this past January.
Zachary Roper, 19, is facing two sexual assault charges. Roper was arrested last week, but bonded out of jail.
On Monday, dozens of students gathered on campus to urge administrators at CU Boulder to suspend Roper from school while police investigate the alleged crime.
“And if he is found guilty, we are demanding the university expel him!” said one student at the rally.
Legally, school administrators aren’t allowed to discuss matters involving specific students. But a spokesperson for CU Boulder said the university has a Title IX office which investigates complaints of sexual misconduct (which would likely include the case against Roper).
“Through that process, if there’s a belief there’s a danger to the campus, one of the remedies available is we could exclude someone from the campus during that time,” said Ryan Huff, a spokesman for CU Boulder. “I can’t say in this particular case whether they’re doing that or not”.
Depending on various factors, Huff said sexual assault cases that are investigated by the office could sometimes take a couple of months to complete.
“At the end of the day we want a fair resolution for all involved and we also want to respect the rights of all involved,” Huff explained.
Despite the university’s process, students at the rally want Roper to be booted from the campus immediately. They said they don’t feel safe knowing he’s allowed to remain at CU Boulder.
“We’re trying to protect students on this campus and we’re also, honestly, trying to protect him [Roper]. This is not the place for him. He should not be here,” said Samantha West, who helped organize the rally.
While police continue to investigate the alleged crime, students said they plan to continue protesting.
Roper has a scheduled preliminary hearing in Boulder County Court on April 4.