Middlebury Senior Charged with Felony Sexual Assault

The Addison Independent reported earlier this week that 22-year-old Middlebury College senior Dong Song has been charged with felony sexual assault.

The charges stem from an on-campus encounter that Song had with a female Middlebury student early on the morning of Sunday, May 12th. On Monday, Song pleaded innocent in Addison County Superior Court. If convicted, he faces a jail sentence of three years to life, plus a fine of up to $25,000.

Sexual assault has become a topic of increased conversation on the Middlebury campus and on college campuses across the country. This fall, the well-publicized account of a rape survivor’s experience at Amherst College sparked outrage over the institution’s inadequate response.

At Middlebury, Both institutional and student initiatives have brought to light the issue of sexual assault. Last April, the College revised its Sexual Assault policies, and this year founded a student-run Sexual Assault Advocacy Committee. In addition the first and second annual It Happens Here events have helped to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus.

Students who have experienced sexual assault on campus can file a complaint with the Office of Judicial Affairs, which will then conduct an internal investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, a panel of Community Judicial Board members review the report and determine a finding and sanction. The College also “encourage[s] students who have been sexually assaulted to seriously consider filing criminal charges,” either with the Middlebury Police/Vermont State Police Department or with the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office. For more information about the College’s Sexual Misconduct Policies, visit go/saoc.

  • Anon

    What did MiddBeat gain from publishing his name? Subjecting a person to that kind of scrutiny and judgement on top of the case is insensitive.

    • ST

      Well, his name was already published in the Addison Independent, so this would be a question for them, not Middbeat. To which the Independent would probably simply answer that the person in question is a legal adult who has been charged with felony sexual assault; it’s not like the publication of names in such cases is at all unusual. Do you comb through every criminal report in every publication you read and say this about every defendant?

      What does Middbeat gain? Nothing except successfully reporting on a case, using the information available to them (which had already beeb put in print by another publication anyway). What kind of ulterior motive are you suspecting here? This is not especially abnormal and reflects only the desire to report on what’s happening. Which I for one am glad to have bene informed about.

      • ST

        *been

      • Anon

        Yeah but how many Midd kids do you know that read the Addison Independent?

  • RAJ

    To Anon,

    Publishing the name of the accused is standard journalistic practice for cases involving sexual violence (so long as they are considered an adult). Publishing the name of the accuser is NOT standard practice for sexual violence cases, and is very much frowned upon.

    I think you could raise serious objection to that practice, but realize Middbeat was simply doing what nearly all institutions do with these sorts of cases.

    Indeed, the Addison Independent listed his name first.

    If a Middlebury student was charged with murder, do you think it would be wrong for Middbeat or the Addison Independent to list his or her name? No, it wouldn’t be. Neither, in my opinion, is it for cases of rape.

    • Anon

      This is a blog not a newspaper… and I’m not questioning journalistic practice, I’m questioning the personal sensibilities of this blog’s writer.

      • you

        Middblog effectively serves as a digital newspaper.

  • jdoe

    Hang in there D. False accusation: It happens here.

    • jdoe1

      This crap dones’t even merit a response. How fucking dare you.

      • jdoe

        I’d characterize your self-righteous comment as a response…

    • eric

      there are two sides to every story and clearly you don’t know either or only know one. Be respectful there is no need for hostility you just end up looking like an ass.

      • Eric111

        And mocking “It Happens Here”, something 20+ brave students participated in, to defend your buddy doesn’t make you look like an ass?

        • Jenlikesgrass

          It makes Don look worse.
          I guess he’ll learn the hardway: foolish online statements of support are not at all helpful to your buddy’s cause.

          • jdoe

            All valid and fair points. Apologies to anyone that was offended. I’ll excuse myself from the conversation

      • eric

        clarification last comment was pointed at jdoe not jdoe1.
        no one should hate on It Happens Here and saying ‘false accusation: it happens here’ is offensive and uncalled for

    • koam
  • this isn’t about the accused..

    My thoughts go out to the victim in this case. Having this event published publicly is, I’m sure, difficult in a way that few of us can understand, having to relive the horrors of what happened with every word printed. It’s tragic that these things still happen on this campus. Even if the accused is found innocent, a woman on our campus felt enough that she was sexually violated that she would bring it to court, another painful experience for victims of sexual assault, and that is something that needs to be addressed. I hope justice is served in the full and gentle healing of the victim.

  • Anon1

    I’m so sorry this had to happen, but I am glad that the survivor had the courage to speak out.
    I know there are two sides to a story, but it is SO important that perpetrators learn that it doesn’t matter whether you INTENDED it to be sexual assault or not (i doubt that most college students INTEND to assault/rape a person.) But if the other person feels assaulted, a line was clearly crossed. No one else gets to decide where your boundaries are but yourself. Just because Don and his buddies seem to think it wasn’t assault, doesn’t mean it wasn’t.

    • the coin

      Did you hear that perpetrators? We’re going to teach you a lesson.

      Nothing is as simple as you seem to be making it.

      > Just because Don and his buddies seem to think it wasn’t assault, doesn’t mean it wasn’t.

      Can’t argue with logic

  • Men’s Rights

    My close friend was raped last year and her attacker was kicked out. Even with that happening, you don’t see me calling for Don’s head. I still think we need to give Don our support, failing that, the benefit of the doubt.

    He has never given the Midd community any reason to doubt his character; by all accounts he is an upstanding individual.

    Now, that in no way absolves him of guilt nor does it prove his innocence. He very well may have assaulted the girl.

    However, one girl cries rape and we fucking condemn the male involved. How are we to know what actually happened. All of the crunchy as fuck, dali lama welcoming committee, rabble rousing assholes need to let the judicial process serve its due course. I don’t mean to insult them (well, I do) but the “activists” on this campus are often rash in their action, despite their heads being in the right place. I hope both for Don and the accuser that nothing happened and that it was a regrettable misunderstanding Rape isn’t acceptable, but he is innocent until proven guilty, especially considering that Don is a decent human being, we must keep that in mind.

    • women’s rights

      This is the most disgusting thing I have ever read. If your friend was raped last year and you don’t recognize that this is a problem, that doesn’t prove Don’s innocence, it only proves that you are a horrible friend and worse human being. The accuser has everything to lose and nothing to gain, she would not make this up. If you are accused of rape you do not deserve the benefit of the doubt. And yes, you do condemn the male involved when a girl “cries rape” because she was violated and rape is unacceptable, no but.

      • Men’s Rights

        all i was trying to say is not to be rash and let the courts figure out what happened. Especially considering Don’s accusation comes as a surprise to many. Believe it or not false rape accusations can happen for a variety of reasons- we are human, sometimes we don’t do things that make sense.

        I also said that if the accusations are true, then it’s time to condemn the kid. But until then, instead of personally attacking me and telling me how shitty of a friend I am (when I testified in support of my friend who was raped and helped convince her to go forward with the charges) I want to let the judicial process serve its due course.

        Fuck me right? Or would you like to burn Don at the stake? I understand it’s a charged issue and my comments seem a little insensitive but we don’t know all the facts. Or would you like to continue changing the world and defeating rape and misogyny from your laptop? I hear the Dalai Lama Welcoming Committee could use some internet tough guys (or girls) like yourself.

  • koam

    And what happened?