UW says players won’t be investigated for misconduct
On Wednesday, the University of Wisconsin released a statement regarding the leak of sensitive volleyball team photos and videos. The statement said the players will receive support for their well-being and will not be investigated for any wrongdoing.
A team member’s phone took the photos and video in the locker room, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Apparently, the team never intended for the photos and videos to be seen by the public.
Students’ privacy was violated as a result of the unauthorized sharing, including potential violations of university policies and criminal statutes, according to the statement.
Students-athletes’ privacy was cited as a reason why UW and UWPD could not comment further.
Marc Lovicott, UWPD Executive Director of Communications, confirmed the department’s involvement and investigation in an emailed statement.
Putting or facilitating private images online without consent is a Class A misdemeanor in Wisconsin and can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and nine months imprisonment.
Dani Rosen, Chair of Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment UW, pointed out that the photo circulation and publicity surrounding it indicate the vulnerability of student-athletes who are always in the spotlight.
Rosen said the cybersexual assault culture at UW is clearly alive and well.
Sexual violence survivors are empowered by PAVE, which focuses less on legal aspects. Regardless of what UWPD decides, Rosen said, PAVE views sharing private photos without consent as a condemnable offense.
A student-athlete’s high-profile status can make them feel exposed to the public when such events occur, Rosen said. Despite less attention from the media, other students are also struggling with similar challenges with fewer resources.
I also don’t believe that it matters whether they were student-athletes. They’re students, that’s what matters.” Rosen said.