MU still under investigation for handling of sexual assault cases

 

During the month of February, at least five females reported that they were sexually assaulted on Miami’s campus or in Oxford.

A female student reported to the Miami University Police Department (MUPD) today, Feb. 28, that she was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance in a dorm room in Etheridge Hall on Saturday, Feb. 25 between about 12:01 a.m. and 12:52 a.m. The suspect was described as a white male.

Just after 5 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, a third party reported to MUPD that a female had been sexually assaulted at around 1:30 a.m. that night in Hahne Hall. The female, who is not a Miami student, knew the perpetrator.

Earlier this month, a student reported to MUPD that she had been sexually assaulted by a male student whom she knew in the early morning hours on Sunday, Feb. 5 in her room in McBride Hall.

On Friday, Feb. 10, a female student reported to the Oxford Police that she had woken up in a bed in an unknown residence without any memory of arriving there. She told police she had been Uptown earlier that night and had left with an unknown male.

According to an incident report from the Oxford Police, the female student had reported from the hospital that she had been sexually assaulted by three males at a local apartment. The incident report said that OPD officers searched the apartment, and suspects in the case have been identified.

McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital staff notified the university at 3:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15 that a female student had reported to them that she had been sexually assaulted somewhere on Miami’s campus. The incident likely occurred on Sunday, Feb. 12, the hospital staff said.

MUPD and OPD are currently investigating these reports.

Students were notified of the four assaults through Campus Crime Alerts — an SMS or email designed to alert students, faculty and staff of dangerous situations on or around campus.

Although these alerts notify students of some reports of sexual assaults, these notifications do not represent all of the sexual assaults which are reported, said Becca Getson, Miami’s sexual assault response coordinator. When students report assaults that occurred weeks or months before or when students report sexual assaults which did not occur on campus or in the Oxford area, those reports are not included in the Campus Crime Alert notification system.

Miami is currently under federal investigation for its handling of sexual assault reports. On Aug. 1, 2016, a student filed a complaint against the university alleging discrimination based on sex.

The complaint stated that the university “failed to promptly and equitably respond to complaints, reports and/or incidents of sexual violence of which it had notice.” The student who filed the complaint said that, as a result, students were subjected to “a sexually hostile environment” at the university.

A letter, sent by the Ohio State Department of Higher Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to Miami President Gregory Crawford in November, relays the details of the complaint and outlines the OCR’s investigation.

The OCR will be investigating whether Miami “provided prompt and equitable responses to sexual violence complaints, reports and/or incidents of which it had notice” and whether any failure by the university to provide such a response allowed the student in question, or any other student, “to be subjected to a sexually hostile environment that denied or limited students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the university’s programs.”

The letter also requested a variety of documents from the university including any policies or procedures regarding discrimination or harassment based on sex since 2013, the names and titles of the university’s Title IX coordinators and descriptions of how the university handles criminal complaints of sexual violence.

 

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