Several Women Come Forward to Accuse Texas A&M of Mishandling Sexual Misconduct Cases
The women say they will not back down until changes are made.
Abbie Hillis says she was drugged and raped during a party; Sydney Whigam says she was raped; Meghan Romere says a football player touched himself while she was tutoring him in U.S. history; and Kirsten Covington says she was groped during her freshman year.
They all say it happened at Texas A&M.
"I love Texas A&M, but I hate the way they treated me," Covington told Inside Edition.
"He took my sense of peace, he took my virginity, he took everything he could've taken from me," Whigam said.
"Sometimes it almost seems like to A&M my story didn't even happen and it didn't exist and it was easy to brush under the rug," Hillis added.
Romere says the student who touched himself while she was tutoring him was on the football team.
"He's sitting with his legs spread open while I’m on my laptop looking at answers and he starts to rummage in his pants,” she claimed.
He pleaded guilty to indecent exposure but Texas A&M found he was “not responsible” and allowed him back on the football team.
"They did everything at every turn to make this problem go away for him and for themselves because he was on the football team," she added.
The student who Sydney Whigam says raped her was expelled by the university. For that, she is thankful.
"I will forever be so grateful to Texas A&M for having my back, but at the same time, it absolutely kills me inside to know that there are girls sitting here with me that didn't even get an inkling of justice,” she said.
They women are now joining forces to form "The 12th Woman," an advocacy group demanding that Texas A&M fix its sexual assault policies.
"We're not going to accept the status quo that is the rape culture at Texas A&M," Romere declared. "We're not gonna have it."
Amy Smith, senior vice president at Texas A&M, told Inside Edition: "I think there are cases where we fall short."
"Hearing their stories and listening to them is just the first step in this," she added. "It's really about action. We still have a long way to go. I want them to know that we're taking it seriously."
Since Inside Edition’s interview, Texas A&M has announced new policies streamlining the process of reporting sexual misconduct, help for victims in the process and pre-determined sanctions for those found responsible.
The women tell Inside Edition they're happy with the changes, but are waiting to see them implemented.
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