Editor’s note: The Collegian does not name victims of crimes. One of the victims of the crimes mentioned in this story is a member of The Collegian staff.
A Richmond College Student Government Association senator who was arrested on a variety of charges in March in relation to an on-campus apartment break-in will have to complete several requirements chosen by the victims or could face a criminal trial in August.
The senator was charged by University of Richmond police on March 3 with vandalism, drunkenness in public and unlawful entry, Assistant Chief of Police Beth Simonds said in an email.
The senator now faces charges in the Richmond General District Court of public intoxication, intentional damage worth less than $1,000 and interfering with property rights.
The Collegian decided not to name the senator because the charges he faces are misdemeanors and his case is ongoing in the court system.
The senator made the following statement in an email to The Collegian after he was approached for comment: "My decisions on the night of March 2, including my decision to participate in drinking games and to drink to such extreme excess, led me to make a very unfortunate mistake which I deeply regret. I again express my remorse to the women for the fear that I caused them, and for any personal hardship that they have faced as a result of my actions. I hope that reading about my poor decisions and the consequences of those decisions will cause other students to make better decisions moving forward and to avoid making decisions that could adversely affect themselves, others and the UR community.”
The charges the senator faces are related to an incident that happened around 4 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, in the 1400 block of the University Forest Apartments.
Four students were sleeping in their apartment when one of them woke up because of a horrible banging outside, they said.
The banging continued and became loud enough for one of the students to realize someone was at the door of their apartment, they said. That student woke up the other students in the apartment and they locked themselves in one of their bedrooms.
The banging did not stop and they could hear the person throwing themselves against the door, one student said. One of the students then called the emergency URPD number, they said.
Before officers arrived, the students heard “a huge banging down there and breaking stuff and then the banging stopped,” one student said.
URPD officers found the senator inside and removed him from the apartment, the students said.
When the students came downstairs, their front door was open, door frame was knocked out of place and nails and wood splinters were scattered across the floor, they said.
“[An officer] was cuffing him and held him in front of us and was like, ‘Do any of you guys know this guy,’ and we were like ‘No, we have no idea,’” one of the students said. “And that’s when we all started to lose it. We were like, ‘Who is this kid and why is he here?’”
The officers told the students that the senator wanted to come inside the apartment because he said he was cold, they said.
The senator was coherent enough to say where he lived, one of the students said. But he looked as if he was not registering the things that were happening around him, they said.
One of the students’ fathers, who arrived at their apartment around 4:30 a.m., saw URPD officers cleaning up vomit from a squad car, he said.
The senator was transported to the MCV hospital at Virginia Commonwealth University and then the Richmond Justice Center, Simonds said in an email.
In the hearing on Monday in Richmond General District Court before Judge Jacqueline S. McClenney, the senator reached a private agreement with the Commonwealth’s attorney.
Prosecutors declined to comment, other than to confirm the private agreement.
The conditions of the agreement were collectively chosen by the students in the apartment, they said.
Under the agreement, the senator will have to resign from RCSGA, change his on-campus housing arrangements for the upcoming school year, complete 200 hours of community service with Richmond police, voluntarily serve a day’s time in jail and personally call the victims’ parents to apologize, the students said. He will also be required to participate in GR-ACY, an alcohol education program offered by VCU.
On Monday, McClenney approved continuing his case and set a new court date for August 17. During the hearing, the senator faced the victims and apologized for his actions.
If the senator does not complete the actions detailed in the agreement by the new court date in August, the Commonwealth’s attorney’s office can continue the case and try him, the victims said.
Contact editor-in-chief Ashlee Korlach at email@example.com.