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Former UIS employee charged with two counts of sexual assault

Xuesong Yang mugshot

Xuesong Yang mugshot

Megan Swett, Editor-in-Chief

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Former UIS employee Xuesong Yang is currently standing trial for the rape of an unidentified international UIS student.

The charges against Yang include two counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of obstruction of justice. The complaints of sexual assault were brought against Yang in August 2016, around the time his three-year stint as a visiting admissions counselor and student adviser ended.

The student, whose anonymity will be protected by The Journal until otherwise requested by said student, transferred to the university from China. As such, they were under Yang’s authority.

According to Illinois statute 720 ILCS 5/11-1.20, “A person commits criminal sexual assault if that person commits an act of sexual penetration and:
1. uses force or threat of force;
2. knows the victim lacks capacity to give consent;
3. is a family member of the victim and the victim is under 18 years old;
4. is at least 17 years old, holds a position of authority or trust over the victim, and the victim is between 13 and 18 years old.”

At the time of the alleged assaults, the victim was 17 years old, meaning that Yang’s position of authority over them inherently establishes the act of sexual penetration as sexual assault.

According to the case file, available to the public through the Sangamon County Circuit Clerk website, Yang’s next trail date is set for Monday, Feb. 6 at 9 a.m.

While the alleged assaults occurred off campus, the university became aware of the situation after a friend of the victim contacted a resident assistant, according to an article published by the Illinois Times on Jan. 20, 2017.

In an email sent out to UIS students and faculty, Deanie Brown, the UIS Title IX compliance coordinator, said, “When incidents occur off campus, the University notifies the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction of the location and cooperates with that investigation.”

“However,” she continued, “in these situations, the University does not rely solely on external law enforcement agencies to respond. UIS also uses interim measures to ensure campus safety even when internal and external investigations are underway.”

Director of Public Relations Derek Schnapp reflected those sentiments in an official statement provided to The Journal, adding that, “When the University becomes aware of such allegations, it takes immediate action to investigate or otherwise determine what occurred.”

According to the UIS Police webpage, victims of sexual assault should seek immediate medical attention by going to a hospital’s emergency room.

“Do not shower, change clothes, or disturb the scene of the attack,” the website said. “Go to the emergency room of a hospital; ask a friend to go with you, if possible.”

The UIS Counseling Center offers a webpage with resources and information for victims of sexual assault, including contact information for the local chapter of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Other resources include a list of emergency and counseling centers. The information can be found at http://www.uis.edu/counselingcenter/sexualassault/.

On Monday, Jan. 30, Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Clarice Ford hosted a panel discussion with various UIS leaders regarding the topic of sexual assault and campus safety. Further coverage of the event will be availble online, at uisjournal.com, and in the Wednesday, Feb. 8 print edition.

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
Former UIS employee charged with two counts of sexual assault