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USC Involved in Failure to Prosecute Rape Case
Sexual violence occurs on campuses around the country. It is a sad fact that will hopefully change for the better. However, exactly how a college handles these situations is critical. The University of Southern California faces a federal investigation, as the school allegedly failed to prosecute a rape case. 13 students and several other anonymous supporters claimed that the USC did not appropriately respond to acts of sexual violence perpetrated on campus. At this time, the U.S Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights launched an inquiry on the matter. According to the Huffington Post, “The agency is investigating allegations that the university failed to prosecute and adjudicate claims of sexual violence and to respond promptly to complaints of harassment on campus.” These failures constitute violations of Title IX, the federal gender equality law.
The coordinator and executive director of the Office of Equity and Diversity at USC commented that the school will continue to address any and all issues as they arise. The university is currently reviewing its policies to make sure they are in compliance with the law.
An anonymous student involved in the complaint against USC said that campus police determined that no rape occurred in her case because her assailant did not orgasm, so the LAPD were not involved. The anonymous student reported that she was told that even though his penis penetrated her vagina, because he stopped, it was not a crime. That seems like quite a demoralizing situation. The complaint against the university claims that students found guilty of sexual assault were punished too lightly.
Finally, one student gave her thoughts, “For me the technical outcome of the investigation is much less important than the consciousness I want it to inspire among decision makers at universities nationwide.” At this point, the inquiry has been formally launched, and hopefully the universities will adjust their policies to become more equitable in situations like these.
USC Involved in Failure to Prosecute Rape Case by Jaan