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Supporters of Skidmore College Sex Assault Case Victim Reina Keifer Protest Possible Return of Attacker After Suspension

Hundreds of green-shirted Skidmore College students staged a dramatic rally Friday to protest their school’s handling of a sexual assault case and to support a victim who spoke publicly about what happened to her.

Reina Keifer, a sophomore from Berkeley, Calif., organized the campus action on the issue of sexual violence on college campuses. On a day when her attacker was expected to seek readmission to Skidmore after his one-year suspension, students in a mostly silent vigil lined the hallways of Palamountain Hall, scribbled messages and posted them on a board. Their T-shirts said “Don’t Graduate Rapists.”

The show of support moved Keifer to tears as she prepared to attend the readmission hearing.

“I am so thankful,” she said.

Appearing with Keifer prior to her attacker’s hearing was her attorney, James Marsh. The victim’s rights lawyer from White Plains represents clients across the country. He said that, in terms of severity, Skidmore’s penalty for Keifer’s abuser was the weakest he had ever seen for what the assailant was found to have done. While the student was suspended for a year and banned from campus, he was permitted to take classes at other schools and transfer class credits, Marsh said.

“That just doesn’t happen anymore,” the attorney said.

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