After a female Plattsburgh State student came forward and reported an act of sexual assault, Richard A. Smith, a PSUC student who was asked to leave the college following the week’s events, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with sexual abuse in the first degree and unlawful imprisonment.
The reporter told University Police that a male acquaintance came into her room in the early morning hours Saturday and sexually assaulted her. PSUC University Police Assistant Chief Jerry Lottie said the reporter would seek charges against Smith.
Smith was held at Clinton County Jail after his arrest on $2,500 bail and $5,000 bond, which was posted.
Lottie said although there are precautions all PSUC students can take to ensure his or her safety, including staying alert and aware of surroundings and implementing the buddy system, these are cases where the responsibility is on the perpetrator.
“There is really nothing that the person could have done to prevent this,” Lottie said, “The ownership should be completely with the perpetrator.”
PSUC Executive Director for Marketing and Communications Ken Knelly said given the circumstances of Smith’s arrest and arraignment, he is no longer a student at PSUC.
However, because of regulations in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Knelly could not discuss the specific actions that the PSUC administration took.
Following Smith’s Wednesday night arrest, a campus-wide email was sent by University Police Chief Arlene Sabo to reinforce the importance of alerting law enforcement officials of any suspicious persons or activities immediately.
Students are also advised to make note of the on-campus blue light phones.
Smith’s next court appearance will be Friday in Clinton County.
Email Maggie McVey at firstname.lastname@example.org.