By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
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Bruce didn't understand why SMU didn't simply kick Havard out of the dorm. His legal research indicated that private universities were not burdened by the due process laws limiting public colleges' actions. "For SMU to tell someone to get off their campus is like me telling someone to get off my yard," Bruce says. "They could have done something in a heartbeat. They were more concerned about the institution, and I was more concerned about Meghan."
Jones' response to Bruce: "We have our procedures we have to go through." He reassured Bruce that police didn't consider Havard dangerous.
Frustrated, Bruce turned elsewhere for help. On December 3, Bruce called SMU's dean of Student Affairs. He told her about the investigation and asked if Havard could be removed through the University Judicial System. "I wanted her to pursue the academic misconduct angle," Bruce says. "We could use this alternative means to have him removed."
Bruce says the dean seemed impatient with him. "The impression I got was that I had simply taken what Meghan had said and not done any kind of a balanced investigation," Bruce says. "I was just a pushy parent trying to make her do something. She didn't look at it as any kind of major issue." Bruce asked the dean to call Jones.
Later that day, Bruce got a call from his daughter. Crying, Meghan said the dean had called her into her office and "guilted" her into providing a written statement about the sexual assault. Inexplicably, however, this statement wasn't forwarded to SMU police. The dean planned to call in Havard to get his version. Meghan feared the school would hear both sides but do nothing, leaving Havard still in Perkins and very pissed off.
To Bruce, it seemed like the authorities at SMU weren't communicating with each other, that everyone wanted to handle the sexual assault "in-house" to avoid having it reported as an on-campus crime statistic.
He points out that the school is required by the federal Jeanne Clery Act, named for a student who was raped and murdered in 1986 on a university campus that had a history of violent assaults, to post statistics for certain crimes.
"If it never becomes a criminal matter but is handled internally as a matter of discipline, it doesn't have to hit their statistics," Bruce says. "I wound up having to call the police myself and tell them to get on the phone with the dean and explain it was a criminal matter. It wasn't two kids having a feud in the dormitory."
The dean offered to shift Meghan to a different dorm, but she didn't want to move. "I was so insulted," Meghan says. "I felt from day one they were blaming me." Jones says Meghan resisted because it would be obvious when an arrest came down that she'd "ratted out" Havard.
Bruce called the DEA and the U.S. Attorney's Office, where he spoke to a prosecutor. "I know she contacted SMU and spoke to Captain Jones," Bruce says. "I got a real frantic phone call from him, like the fact that he was getting calls from other outside agencies was going to create real problems for him." Jones reiterated: Havard will be gone soon.
But when nothing happened, Meghan finally decided to file a written complaint with SMU police about the alleged sexual assault. "At least it would be on [Havard's] record if it happened to someone else," Meghan says.
On December 10, Meghan met with Jones in person for the second time. He seemed animated. "He explained that they were doing a sting operation [on Havard] in several counties," Meghan says. "He said, 'It's really exciting...we're going on stakeouts. He's under surveillance. We're trying to buy GHB.' Then he stops himself. 'I can't talk about it because I could mess up the whole thing.'"
Taken aback, Meghan says she pressed the issue of the drug-rape charge, but Jones again discouraged her from filing a written complaint. Three days later, Meghan gave a written statement but left out the sexual assault.
Jones and Snellgrove tell a different story--and their versions conflict. "She never did approach the police department with an allegation of sexual assault," Captain Snellgrove says. But Jones says he encouraged Meghan to lodge the sexual assault complaint. Obviously in his eyes an allegation did exist.
SMU's timeline for the complaint, detailed in interviews with Jones, Snellgrove, Caswell and a lawyer for the university, doesn't always make sense. SMU police say they first learned of Meghan's allegations against Havard on December 10. She filed a written statement on December 13, describing the counterfeit drivers license scheme and the incidents in which Havard allegedly drugged two of her dorm-mates with GHB. SMU police were compelled to put their counterfeiting probe on hold on December 18, when Carrollton police undercover officer Craig DeCarlo informed them that Havard was the target of a drug investigation.
But in separate interviews, all three Bodsons say they began talking to SMU police about the alleged sexual assault--as well as Havard's other questionable activities--in November. The Bodsons' timeline is more believable. Jones didn't have time to conduct an investigation of the counterfeiting scheme if he learned of it only on December 13, the day before students left for the Christmas holidays.