Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama accused of failing to act on harassment claims

16 women reported a male student to the College

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama has come under fire for failing to properly investigate claims of sexual assault from at least 16 women.

Two anonymous women claim to be among more than a dozen students at the college who were assaulted by a single male student, with one reporting four alleged assaults within her first two weeks at the school.

The student initially thought the matter was being dealt with after she reported it to a panel of lecturers, only to find that her allegations were not considered by the college because they were not provided in writing.

John Watkins, lawyer of two of the students, believes the college’s investigating officer has downgraded the allegations made against the male student and hasn’t corroborated all the evidence provided, with the investigator supposedly claiming that he “can’t come down on either side as to who’s telling me the truth”.

A legal letter addressing the failure by the college to act on the assault claims – as well the lack of corroboration by the investigator to define a pattern of behaviour – has been sent, with Watkins quoting the investigator as saying: “If there were any other allegations of sexual harassment against [the alleged perpetrator] … that would have been a different case. There weren’t. There was one allegation against him on a sexual assault. There were numerous allegations of inappropriate touching.”

The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama has declined to comment on the investigation, with a spokesperson saying it would be inappropriate due to the ongoing legal process. They did, however, state that every report of sexual assault was treated with the “utmost seriousness”.

“The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is of the highest importance and we have formal mechanisms in place to both safeguard and support members of the college community who wish to report incidents.”

“We remain committed to listening openly to any member of our community, current or previous, who wish to report an incident through our formal processes – whether recent or historic. We would encourage any complainants who have not reported their concerns to us, to do so.”

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