Former MIT student who assaulted woman in her dorm room pleads guilty, avoids prison

Judge says the case ‘cries out for jail time,’ according to CBS Boston

Former MIT student Samson Donick pleaded guilty to three charges Tuesday in a sexual assault case that occurred Oct. 18, 2015, according to WBUR. He admitted that he broke into a woman’s dorm room at Boston University while she was asleep and assaulted her. However, Donick will avoid prison time.

Donick was originally charged with aggravated rape, but because the victim declined to testify, a plea bargain was agreed upon instead. According to CBS Boston, prosecutors told the judge that the victim’s testimony “would not be in her emotional best interests.”

Judge Janet Sanders indicated that the plea deal was against her better judgment and that the case “cries out for jail time,” according to CBS Boston.

Donick pleaded guilty to indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, assault and battery, and breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor.

Sanders sentenced him to five years of probation with GPS monitoring, with the possibility of reduction to three years with good behavior. She also imposed 1,000 hours of community service and sex offender treatment. Though Donick will not have to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts, he will probably have to in California, where he currently lives, according to the Boston Globe.

Police said two female BU students signed Donick — then an MIT student who played guard for the basketball team — and three other men into a BU dorm around 2 a.m. the night of the incident, according to Boston Magazine. Donick and another man went to find someone the latter knew and entered 10 dorms rooms across four floors for the next half hour.

Donick entered the victim’s room, and she awoke to him sexually assaulting her. On the stand Tuesday, Donick described what took place. “I entered the room. I touched her … and when she asked me to stop, I left,” Donick said, according to the Boston Herald.

The victim also addressed Donick directly in the courtroom Tuesday, saying, “I ask that you make your future untainted. I ask that you make a positive impact in every life you touch because the many negative impacts you made in mine and my families’ are enough for a lifetime,” according to WBUR.

On campus, Violence Prevention and Response has partnered with the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation and the Title IX Office since 2012. “Examples of their partnerships on education and prevention include trainings and workshops for individual athletes and teams focused on the topics of alcohol, sexual consent, and bystander intervention,” Kelley Adams, assistant dean and VPR director, wrote in an email sent to The Tech.

Since the NCAA adopted a new policy on sexual violence prevention education requirements in August 2017, all MIT student-athletes and athletic staff have completed some form of sexual assault education and prevention training, according to Adams.