For Immediate Release
‘Undetected Rapists’ on College Campuses
Texas A&M Case Exemplifies a Troubling Plague of Repeat Offenders
WASHINGTON - Repeat
offenders account for a significant number of sexual assaults on
campus, but school authorities are often slow to realize they have such
“undetected rapists” in their midst, according to a joint investigation
by Texas Watchdog and the Center for Public Integrity. Some of the offenders actually appear to be pillars of the campus community — like Elton Yarbrough at Texas A&M.
one-time Texas A&M senior is now sitting in a Texas prison until at
least 2015 for felony sexual assault. He was tried on just one assault
charge, but five women — including four female A&M students —
testified Yarbrough raped or sexually assaulted them over a three year
period. Yarbrough is one of six alleged serial offenders at colleges
across the country the Center found during its year-long investigation
of sexual assault on college campuses. The six were accused in court
records, campus records, or other public documents of assaulting
The story, “‘Undetected Rapists' on Campus: a Troubling Plague of Repeat Offenders,” is the third of three new pieces being released this week as part of the Center's Sexual Assault on Campus series. A story released Wednesday
revealed that students found “responsible” for sexual assaults on
campus often face little or no punishment from school judicial systems,
while their victims' lives are frequently turned upside down. A story published Thursday
found that the Education Department's Office of Civil Rights rarely
investigates student allegations of botched school proceedings
regarding campus sexual assault. When cases do go forward, the civil
rights office rarely rules against the schools, and virtually never
issues any sanctions against institutions. Three earlier pieces in the Sexual Assault on Campus project ran last December.
Center's package marks a number of significant collaborative efforts,
including a series of three stories and a Talk of the Nation call-in
program from National Public Radio News. The NPR Series
was produced by a special NPR Investigative Unit, with reports airing
on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. The Center also
collaborated with the Investigative News Network,
a coalition of some two dozen news organizations dedicated to watchdog
journalism. The Center's pieces will be accompanied by localized campus
assault stories from five members of the network — the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, Texas Watchdog, the Rocky Mountain News Network, and Investigate West.
network was formed last summer following a three-day meeting of mostly
nonprofit investigative journalism groups in New York. The mission of
the network is to facilitate the work and public reach of its member
organizations, to foster high-quality, original investigative
journalism, and to hold government and corporate power accountable at
the local, national, and international levels.
The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing original, responsible investigative journalism on issues of public concern. The Center is non-partisan and non-advocacy. We are committed to transparent and comprehensive reporting both in the United States and around the world.