Marcelo Velez, Vice President of the Manhattanville expansion project, was arrested on January 4 in Bergen County for alleged sexual assault of a minor.

Editor’s Warning: Sexual Assault

Columbia University’s Vice President of Manhattanville Development, Marcelo Velez, was arrested on Monday for allegedly sexually assaulting a minor in his Woodcliffe Lake, New Jersey home.

Velez, 56, was recently charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a minor, according to an official statement by the Bergen County Prosecutor. Woodcliffe Police was notified on Sunday by the victim’s mother, who reported that Velez had allegedly forced her daughter, a girl younger than 13 years old, into performing sexual acts in his home the day before. Further details of these alleged assaults are not currently available. Details on his prior relationship with this child are also unclear.

Bwog reached out to Columbia Communications for a statement from the administration. A University spokesperson responded, “We have placed Mr. Velez on administrative leave and will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials investigating this matter.” No further comment has been made at this time.

Marcelo Velez has been with Columbia since 1995, according to the Columbia University Facilities website. Prior to being placed on administrative leave, Velez was the Vice President of the Manhattanville Development expansion project. According to his profile, Velez served on “the advisor board for the ACE Mentorship Program, Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education’s new master’s degree program in Construction Administration, and as Vice Chair of the Greater New York Construction User Council.”

Velez is currently being held at the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey. His first appearance for his charges of sexual assault and endangering a minor is still pending.

This is a developing story—Bwog will continue to update it as need be with comments and information from necessary parties.

Butler Library via Bwog Archives