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November 30, 2023

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GWU’s former student president found guilty

WASHINGTON – George Washington University’s Student Judicial Services found last year’s Student Association President Lamar Thorpe guilty of disorderly conduct for “lewd and indecent behavior,” and not guilty of sexual harassment and alcohol charges, according to SJS documents given to the student newspaper, The Hatchet.

Thorpe declined to comment on the outcome of his case, only saying “what are you talking about?” when contacted by The Hatchet. In an interview in July, he said he has not “had any judicial proceedings going on” and called accounts to the contrary “great stories” generated by his enemies.

A female sophomore accused Thorpe and then-Vice President of Student Activities Richard Fowler of forcing her to perform oral sex and drink excessively in September 2006, a University Police Department Incident Report states. The report, which was filed on April 22, classifies the alleged offense as first-degree sexual abuse. Both Thorpe and Fowler have repeatedly said they are unaware of the alleged incident and of a case before SJS.

Thorpe, who is a presidential administrative fellow attending graduate school for free at GW this fall, lost an appeal to overturn the disorderly conduct charge, according to SJS records. A sanction letter states that his punishment is one year of disciplinary probation until May 2008.

“Based upon various standards and guidelines as established by campus organizations, departments, administrators, and/or faculty, conditions of your probation may include exclusion from co-curricular activities,” the letter states. “Violations of the terms of Disciplinary Probation or any other violations of this ‘Code’ during the period of probation may result in suspension or expulsion from the University.”

Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak, whose department oversees the fellowship program, said that a student being on disciplinary probation is “not in conflict with being a PAF.”

When asked if there were any qualms about Thorpe serving in a prestigious role given his disciplinary record, Chernak said, “If we had a concern, he wouldn’t be in the program. Obviously, we don’t have a concern.”

Sophomore Jason Scheinthal, who was Thorpe’s senior counsel last spring, confirmed that the former SA president was cleared of the sexual harassment charge but said that it is not his place to discuss the outcome of the disorderly conduct violation.

An adviser and confidante to Thorpe, Scheinthal said the student leader did not want SJS charge to tarnish the reputation of the SA.

“Lamar’s immediate concern was that he didn’t want the Student Association to go through another scandal … I would say that throughout this entire thing — it wasn’t until the summer – that he was slightly concerned about himself, (rather only about the SA),” Scheinthal said.

Then-Vice President of Public Affairs Andrew Cooper was also listed in the UPD report. He said he left Thorpe’s room the night of the incident because he “didn’t agree with some of the things that were going on” and that SJS never charged him with any violations.

Because The Hatchet has not examined any of Fowler or Cooper’s judicial records.

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