In October 1984, Liz Seccuro was a 17 year-old first year student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, realizing her lifelong dream of becoming the first in her family to attend University. A high school valedictorian very active in several extracurricular activities, she had nothing but a bright and promising future of excellence waiting. That all changed.
An older fellow University student raped Liz, still a virgin, in his bedroom at the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi in the early morning hours of October 5, 1984 after she had been drugged. He was a stranger to her. When she reported the news to the University officials, she was told that the Charlottesville Police did not have jurisdiction over that fraternity house. When Dean of Students Robert Canevari, a known sexist who held Friday night cocktail parties for male students only, took the attacker's "statement", he let Liz and her parents know that Beebe claimed it was "consensual" and that there was nothing further they could do for her. Liz was examined at Student Health and reported the rape to University Police Chief Michael Sheffield with Dean Sybil Todd present. None of those records have been located as of November 2005, according to the University representative Leonard Sandridge. Liz chose to remain in school and graduated with a degree in English Literature in 1988.
A University report speaks of one witness fleeing the fraternity house after seeing Liz covered in so much blood, they felt "there had been a shooting".
On September 8, 2005, Liz, then 38, married and the mom of two-year-old Ava, received a letter from her rapist. In it, William Beebe, an admitted addict, apologized for the "harm" he had done Liz and invited her to help him understand how the rape had affected her life. His apology came as part of an Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Step program. They began an email correspondence that was horrifying and powerful as it mapped out two very different lives. Liz was concerned for her safety. When she asked Mr. Beebe how he had found her, he wrote that he had called the University Alumni Office and they had given him her addresses over the phone for the last nine years. He was not a graduate and yet the Alumni Office gave this information out freely.
In December 2005, Liz called Chief Timothy Longo of the Charlottesville Police Department on a hunch that what she had been told in 1984 was incorrect. It was. She flew to Charlottesville with the correspondence and made her statement to detectives Nick Rudman and Scott Godfrey, pressing charges. The Commonwealth's Attorney drew up an arrest warrant. On January 4, 2006, William N. Beebe was arrested in Las Vegas. On March 24, 2006, Liz faced her attacker in person and gave two hours of testimony and cross-examination testimony at a Preliminary Hearing. Judge Edward Berry certified the case to a Grand Jury, meaning probable cause had been established.
On April 17, 2006, a Grand Jury indicted William Beebe on two felony counts: rape and object sexual penetration. Prior to the trial, which would have been prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Claude Worrell, Mr. Beebe pled guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated sexual battery, striking a deal with prosecutors in exchange for information leading to 2 other fraternity brothers who had drugged and raped Liz that night BEFORE Beebe. They have not been charged, although they have been identified. Liz was not allowed by Judge Ted Hogshire to read her Victim Impact Statement at the sentencing hearing in March 2007. Mr. Beebe did NOT cooperate with authorities in the indictment of the others, who remain free to this day.
William Beebe was sentenced by Judge Ted Hogshire to 10 years, with all but 18 months suspended and he is forbidden to contact Liz or her family for the rest of his natural life.
On March 15, William Beebe began serving his prison sentence. He was released on September 13, 2007 after serving less than six months of a 10 year sentence. He currently makes his home in Chesterfield, Virginia. He is unemployed and no longer wears a GPS ankle bracelet.