Students at Loyola University Chicago have launched a petition demanding that the school release information on a man who attended classes at Loyola and played on its golf team for three years while facing a rape charge in Johns Creek, Ga.
But the university says it had no idea that Ben Holm, 21, was arrested and charged with rape in May 2013 during his senior year at Johns Creek High School.
Two weeks ago on Dec. 5, Holm decided to plead guilty to aggravated assault and statutory rape charges even as a jury deliberated his fate, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He was sentenced to 20 years, including 10 to serve in prison. While awaiting his trial, Holm attended Loyola University Chicago, where he was on a golf scholarship. Two days after Holm’s rape conviction was published in The AJC and on Channel 2 Action News, a student started an online petition seeking information from the University.
“Students at Loyola University Chicago are disgusted by the institution’s actions and do not feel safe on campus — the administration’s silence is only making things worse,” the petition on the change.org website says.
The petition, which had 1,226 supporters early Monday, may have prompted the university to release a statement Friday on its website.
“To our knowledge, we neither received information about the crime, nor had any awareness that it occurred until Monday, December 12, when we received a media inquiry,” Thomas M. Kelly, Title IX coordinator and senior vice president for administrative services, said in the letter to the Loyola community. “Based on media reports, the individual is in police custody in Georgia…Violence of any kind is not tolerated at Loyola, and the safety and security of all members of our campus community remain a top priority.”
The university did not respond to a request for comment from the AJC on Dec. 12.
Holm was being held in the Fulton County jail early Monday awaiting transfer to a state prison.
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