Iowa State Students, Advocates Talk Sexual Assault after Plea Deal

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As part of plea deal a former Iowa State University student won’t serve prison time in a sexual assault case.

21-year-old Patrick Whetstone received two years’ probation and 10 years as a registered sex offender.

The victim in the case is going ahead with a lawsuit she filed against Iowa State.  She claims she was discouraged from reporting the incident.

Victim advocates say sexual assault prevention needs to be taught earlier in school.

“I don’t think that this is necessarily about morality or about hyper sexuality, I think that we just have this history of not talking very comfortably about sex or sexual assault and so when we do then we tend to blame victims and say it’s what they were wearing or how they were acting,” said Advocate Lori Allen.

Students say that’s what they’re afraid of, and it’s something isn’t specific to Iowa State.

“I know I wouldn’t want to, because your parents are going to see it, what happens when your parents find out that you were raped, and they’re like ‘oh so we know what you’ve been doing on the weekends, you’ve been out drinking, going to parties, and girls especially on campus I don’t think want to have that encounter with their parents,” said Meredith Andersen, a Senior.

Advocates say teaching students about sex in general at an earlier age will help to make conversation easier down the road.

“Middle schooler’s are thinking about these things, high schooler’s are thinking about these things, they have boyfriends and they have girlfriends and you know, it’s unfortunate when it has to be talked about for the first time in the context of a sexual assault” said Allen.

Students say there have been changes.

“In our sorority we do educational nights where they talk about ways we can prevent it and looking out for and being a friend if someone is getting into a situation just being that person stepping up and being confident knowing you need to remove your friend from the situation,” said Sophomore Karly Artino.

Students say the conversation cannot stop because it’s uncomfortable.