NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Fox 8 investigation uncovered that the feds are looking into whether the state's largest university discriminated against a student after she reported being raped on campus.
Tonight, we have an interview with Vice President Joe Biden about what the White House is doing to end sexual assaults on college campuses across the country.
In our exclusive Fox 8 investigation, "Assault on the Student Body," we found a number of rapes are reported at LSU each year, but some victims say the university doesn't do enough to protect them or hold the perpetrator accountable. In fact, we uncovered that in one case, the university said an LSU student had sex with an intoxicated co-ed without her consent, but that student was simply placed on "deferred suspension," and was allowed to stay on campus.
Vice President Biden visited several universities this week to promote the administration's campaign to end sexual assaults on college campuses across the country and addressed the nationwide problem. "We decided to get tough on it and say look, if you are not protecting women on campus, you're going to pay a penalty," Biden said. "Now, colleges are stepping up."
Our investigation revealed that LSU is now under investigation by the US Department of Education for how they handled a recent sexual assault complaint. Universities are required by a federal law called Title IX to provide support and assistance to students who report being raped. However, according to public records obtained by Fox 8, a complaint filed with the feds alleges that LSU failed to respond in a prompt and appropriate manner when it was notified that a student was sexually assaulted by a former LSU student in her dorm room on March 28, 2015.
LSU couldn't talk about that specific case because of the on-going investigation, but the university's president, Dr. F. King Alexander, did say that "as a father of three daughters first and foremost we do not sweep any of this under the rug. We want as many people that have had a problem with this, or find any barriers even among their friends in reporting it, we want them to come to us first and foremost."
Biden believes the issue of sexual violence on college campuses is getting more attention than ever before. University administrators, he says, should be accurately reporting and publishing the number of victims raped or abused on their campuses, which is required by federal law. If they're not, Biden says the federal government will hold them accountable.
"Most of the schools are responding ... the social pressure on them is the same," Biden said. "It's not just the concern of the loss of federal dollars, it's the concern that you're under investigation and no school wants to be on that list."