Many college freshmen have difficult relationships with their roommates, with whom they are often randomly paired. However, a young woman who has been expelled from the University of Hartford allegedly took her issues with her roommate to extreme levels. She is facing a charge of criminal mischief and could also face charges involving intimidation based on bigotry.
The case has become national news, and the university is facing accusations by the woman's roommate that people there wanted her to keep the matter quiet. She's also alleging that the university's actions were in part influenced by her race. She says, "If the race roles were reversed, I feel like this would have gone down a different route."
The 18-year-old facing charges, who is white, reportedly made multiple social media posts describing actions she was taking against her roommate, whom she dubbed "Jamaican Barbie" to get her to move out. She said that she had contaminated her roommate's face lotion, toothpaste and backpack with her bodily fluids and even moldy clam dip.
The young woman who was the alleged victim says that she had been suffering from a severe sore throat, but it wasn't until she was moving out of her room that she was told about her roommate's social media posts and realized what had been happening.
A spokesperson for the university says that people on the residential staff asked the alleged victim not to take any action herself. However, she says that "their intention was never to try to keep her quiet." The university says that it reported the case to law enforcement within a day after authorities there were made aware of it. The young woman who is facing criminal charges turned herself in to the police.
What college kids consider a prank is all too often a crime. The consequences can be significant. Experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorneys can offer guidance as they face the criminal justice system.
Source: The New York Times, "Hartford Student Charged After Boasting About Contaminating Roommate’s Belongings," Jonah Engel Bromwich, Nov. 01, 2017