Aaron Percival, a Columbia University sophomore, was arrested for sexual abuse yesterday. Prosecutors say he sneaked into a female classmate's room while she was sleeping and licked her feet and tried to kiss her; when she woke up and told him to get away, he allegedly held her down and molested her. The female student didn't press charges until another attack was reported, although she did go to the health clinic for treatment. The first incident occured on September 14, 2003, the second in February (the second attack is not being prosecuted due to lack of evidence). Percival's attorney wonders why it took so long to bring the charge to light, while the D.A.'s office says the victim was scared. Percival's attorney also claims that the victim gave him her phone number later; other sources claim that the victim was someone who had rejected Percival. Percival, a political science major from Florida, is also a cornerback on Columbia's football team.
The Daily News reports that the female student's dorm room door was unlocked because her roommate lost the key. Columbia is cooperating with the investigation, stating, "Columbia University is committed to ensuring the safety of its students and requires that students adhere to standards of appropriate sexual and other conduct on campus. Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our students." Columbia does have a rape crisi and anti-violence support center for its students.
Only semi-related: The Columbia Spectator unveils its list of the top 10 alumni from Columbia University (they've been counting down the top 250 since last October, in honor of the school's 250th anniversary) and Martha Stewart (Barnard, '63) comes in at number 7, in between Roone Arledge (CC '52) and Langston Hughes (School of Mines 1921-22), above Jack Kerouac (CC '40-42) ; number 1 - John Jay (1764), everyone's favorite "judge, statesman, and abolitionist."