LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is committed to improving student safety after a recent article brought to light a graduate who had six allegations of sexual assault against him at three colleges of Louisiana. According to USA TODAY, each university and local law enforcement failed to connect the dots due to lack of communication.
Victor Daniel Silva attended Louisiana State University, UL at Lafayette and Louisiana Tech. His ex-girlfriend, Nicole Pellegrin, told News 10 in her own home and days before graduation, one of her friends was sexually assaulted by Silva.
“If they had just talked about it, everyone would have known what was going on,” said Pellegrin.
She and Silva both graduated with a chemical engineering degree from UL-Lafayette in 2020, but Pellegrin said she would have moved away from Silva if her school had known about the six allegations of sexual assault in college. .
A paper trail discovered by USA TODAY, found Silva transferred from LSU as a rookie with two allegations of sexual assault. Then, at UL Lafayette, three women reported him to the Lafayette Police Department who never informed the school, and Silva escaped another allegation of sexual assault during a short transfer to Louisiana. Tech.
The USA TODAY article revealed that only one report of sexual assault from Baton Rouge resulting in an arrest was reported to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Pellegrin said Silva told everyone the accusation was false through repeated “bloody stories”. Because there was only one alleged assault, the students knew many people found it easier to believe that a single charge could be false.
She tried to delve into Silva’s past before deciding to date him, but said, “You couldn’t look for him anywhere you couldn’t find any information.”
Act 172, a Louisiana law created in 2015, requires educational institutions and law enforcement to share charges of sex crimes among themselves. It also requires institutions to withhold transcripts from students seeking transfer with ongoing sex crime investigations.
Helena Moreno co-wrote Law 172 and responded to news on social media.
Pellerin said if the rules are not followed, they must be rewritten with more responsibility to ensure schools and law enforcement maintain them. “There is no support at any level, it seems, because if there had been there is no reason why it should have happened. Everyone screwed it up. Everyone, ”Pellerin said.
Not all of the alleged victims went to the authorities or the university. Some people doubt anything will be done. Pellegrin said she was one of more than a dozen women she has now spoken to who all attest to Silva’s sexual assault.
“He’s been doing just that for years and years and years. This has been going on for over a decade, ”said Pellegrin.
According to Pellerin, more recently another sexual assault complaint cost Silva his job in Arkansas and now he’s back in Lafayette with his parents. She said that when she got to know Silva and her parents, they would apologize for her actions and find a way out for her. Pellerin is not another person to face this fate.
“I don’t want him to be able to surprise anyone because he’s so good, and he’s so trained,” she warned.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Dr. Joseph Savoie emailed this statement to students, faculty, and staff when the article was published:
Dear students, faculty and staff,
As you may be aware, a news outlet this morning published an article which focused on a former student who faced allegations of sexual misconduct while attending several universities in our state, including UL Lafayette. .
The University has cooperated extensively with the publication in recent months. We answered questions thoroughly and provided requested public documents. We believe in transparency and our responsiveness to inquiries reflected this belief.
The story is nevertheless troubling. While the University followed state and federal laws and policies as they existed at the time, the article highlights critical communication gaps that need to be addressed.
Current and ongoing discussions in the Louisiana Legislature will likely result in further reforms to how higher education institutions communicate allegations of sexual misconduct.
The University, along with our fellow institutions in the University of Louisiana system, has been actively engaged in these discussions. We will continue to do so because we fully support these efforts.
But our work is not limited to legislation alone. We must continue to improve the programs and initiatives that prevent this misconduct from happening.
The University takes all allegations of sexual assault and misconduct seriously. Our commitment to creating an environment of life, learning and work in which each member of our university community sees their rights respected and feels safe is absolute.
Truly, Dr Joseph Savoie, president
To learn more about this story, read the original USA TODAY item.