In a story that has become ubiquitous, another male student avoided jail time after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a student on the Iowa State campus. Patrick Whetstone, 21, avoided jail time for the 2014 assault, but will be required to register as a sex offender for ten years as part of a plea agreement. He also agreed to two years of probation. Judge James McGlynn agreed to the plea deal.
The victim told the court that she had felt ill and then fallen asleep after drinking on March 30, 2014. She woke up to find Whetstone assaulting her. The judge said that he believes the "sentence will protect the community" from Whetstone. Whetstone will also have to submit to evaluation and enter counseling if it is ordered. Whetstone will also have to turn over a DNA sample, and the judge said he believes that the perpetrator can be rehabilitated.
The victim, who was 19 at the time and who is going under the pseudonym "Jane Doe," is suing Iowa State University for its "botched response" to the assault, which led to the victim dropping out of school. Even though the victim reported the incident to Iowa State campus police right away, Whetstone was not charged for six months. The victim dropped out for the rest of that spring semester. When she returned to school in the fall, her new housing assignment was a block from where Whetstone lived, which caused her to run into him nearly every day.
Iowa State is one of 90 colleges currently being investigated by the federal government for its handling of sexual assault charges on its campus. Failure to provide a safe environment for students is a violation of Title IX, the 1972 statute that requires colleges that receive federal funds to provide equal accommodations and services to students regardless of gender.
Station KCCI reported that, prior to sentencing, the victim spoke.
"The woman who was sexually assaulted told her assailant that he changed her life forever.
Speaking in an Iowa courtroom, the 21-year-old woman told Whetstone that the 2014 assault "turned my life upside down" and shattered her college career.
She told Whetstone that "you touched my soul in a way that haunts me in my sleep." She spoke of having panic attacks and losing friends who didn't believe her.
The woman told one of Whetstone's attorneys that she's never been so "verbally disrespected by anybody in my entire life."