University of Delaware students are accusing the school of protecting its reputation instead of its students after a brutal off-campus assault

Recitation Hall at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.
Recitation Hall at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. gregobagel/Getty Images

Editor’s Note: This story contains descriptions of assault that may be distressing to some readers.

  • A University of Delaware student has been charged with assault and kidnapping.
  • He’s accused of brutally assaulting a woman in an off-campus apartment.
  • His classmates allege the school is protecting its reputation instead of the safety of students.

University of Delaware students have accused the school of protecting its reputation over student safety after a classmate was charged with a brutal off-campus assault.

Students held a protest on Tuesday against the school and in support of domestic violence victims in which they accused administrators of waiting too long to issue a statement about the attack.

The Newark Police Department told NBC Philadelphia that University of Delaware student Brandon Freyre, 20, was accused of brutally attacking a woman he knew in an off-campus apartment last week.

The woman told police that Freyre hit her with blunt objects, threatened to kill her, sprayed her eyes with spray paint, choked her unconscious, locked her in an apartment, and pushed her down the stairs before she could escape.

Freyre has been charged with second-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, third-degree assault, strangulation, terroristic threatening, and criminal mischief.

Police told the Newark Post that the incident happened on October 8, and he was charged on Monday.

But school officials didn’t release a statement on the incident until Tuesday.

Vice president of student life José-Luis Riera and interim chief diversity officer Fatimah Conley said in a statement that the school chose to “separate” Freyre from the university and expelled from his fraternity, Kappa Delta Rho.

“We are writing to acknowledge the harm inflicted, denounce the violence reported, and call for our community to come together and advance our goals of a campus climate free of all violence, including gender-based violence and violence against women,” they said.

Students told the UD Review, the school’s student paper, that they were frustrated by how long it took for an official statement to be released.

“I was really frustrated to see the lack of response from the university. I think silence is deafening, and their silence is really, really painful to witness,” one student told the paper. “I just don’t think that [the university] is that committed to protecting their students and that’s really, really frustrating to be a part of.”