Sophomore falsely accused of masturbating in Gelman Library

Media Credit: Nicole Radivilov | Hatchet Staff Photographer

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Updated March 21, 2014 at 3:29 p.m.

A sophomore was questioned by four University Police officers Tuesday and asked to leave the Gelman Library after they received a complaint that she was masturbating there. She says it was all a misunderstanding – and “blatantly false.”

She said she was in Gelman on Tuesday to edit vintage photos of pinup girls for a digital art class – a project that required the Photoshop software in the Gelman computer lab.

“Apparently somebody called on me and said I was looking at indecently exposed images and claimed I was touching myself, which was false in so many ways,” the student said.

The four officers took down her information before asking her to leave Gelman, though she said they acknowledged that the accusations appeared false.

University Police Department chief Kevin Hay confirmed that UPD had received a complaint from a male student that the accused student “was looking at inappropriate material on a computer and behaving inappropriately.”

“Subsequent information has since been developed that casts doubt on the veracity of the original complaint,” Hay said, adding that no charges were filed in the incident.

The student said officers questioned her for about 45 minutes and looked through the history on her computer before deciding it was a false accusation. The officers also questioned the student who accused her, Hay said.

“I don’t think it’s right for people to go and accuse someone of things that were so blatantly false. God forbid if this happened to somebody who was much more shy than I am,” she said. “It’s not really that funny to sit and tell UPD your sexual habits.”

It’s not the first time a student has been accused of – or caught – engaging in a sexual act in Gelman. A student witnessed a man masturbating on the library’s sixth floor back in 2011, though police were unable to identify a suspect.

This post was updated to reflect the following:
The student’s named was removed due to the sensitivity of the topic.

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