Group formed to address sex assault on college campuses

Group formed to address sex assault on college campuses

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - A new Sexual Assault Working Group out of Baton Rouge learned why the number of rapes on Louisiana college campuses seems low. Wednesday was the first time the group, made up of Louisiana legislators, advocates and higher educational leaders met.

"At institutions where you have a fraternity house that isn't owned by the university and isn't contiguous with campus, it's not being captured," Scott Schneider told the group in a Senate committee room.

The same can go for other off campus housing, Schneider said.

Sen. J.P. Morrell said this is in part because universities may not ever hear about the attacks off campus.

"It's not captured for a variety of reasons," said Morrell. "Not that the university doesn't want to report it. Law enforcement is under no obligation to tell the university it happened."

The lapse in communication is one issue the Sexual Assault Working Group will focus on when considering policy changes before the upcoming legislative session. Other changes may focus on what's missing from the


"Everyone agreed the numbers that we got from all the universities were ridiculously low, but the numbers we got were what were required to be reported through Clery," said Morrell. "And it was obvious through the meeting today that Clery is broken."

How broken?

Schneider explained that even the high-profile alleged sexual assault case of Jameis Winston - last year's Heisman trophy winner from Florida State University - would not have been a crime required to be reported by the university through the Clery Act.

"Jameis Winston at FSU, the incident, if it happened, was a sex assault that happened off campus at an apartment. It's not a Clery reportable, even though it's a sex offense, and even though it's a sex offense that obviously impacts two students at that university," said Schneider.

The group's goal is to figure out what legislation is needed to better learn about and stop sexual assaults on campuses.

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