A University of Wisconsin student was arrested over the weekend as a suspect in an October sexual assault case. The suspects DNA was linked to the incident involving a 22-year-old sexual assault victim, who also attends the university. The investigation is ongoing.
Sexual assault on college campuses has become a national issue. A recent White House Administration task force found that one in five female college students in the United States has been assaulted. Legislators have taken aim at college and university campuses around the nation to step up reporting of sexual assault incidences or face penalties. While colleges scramble to comply, they are voicing concerns over their growing and, oftentimes, conflicting responsibilities with regard to sexual assault, siting their lack of criminal justice resources.
After Harvard enacted a new policy last year in reaction to the new regulations, a group of 28 law professors balked. They say the rules Harvard enacted are “overwhelmingly stacked against the accused” and “starkly one-sided”. One of the professors claims Harvard’s process is biased because it is run by a single Title IX compliance office that’s under pressure to show the government results. The compliance office is not only responsible for charging an alleged offender, it functions as the investigator and the judge AND hears all appeals to it’s decisions, making it difficult to see how it is a neutral process for some.
Another issue raised is the that the rules are too broad in what it considers sexual misconduct. There are concerns that the school relies too much on what a victim says is a violation, and too little on what a “reasonable person might say,” as federal law requires. The fear is that if you take the “reasonable person requirement” out of the equation, the interpretation of ‘unwelcome contact” can vary widely, potentially leading to unwarranted charges of assault.
When parents send their daughters and sons to universities and colleges across the country, they want them to be safe and hope that they don’t get into trouble. Young adults are vulnerable not only to crime, but also run the risk of being accused of something they may be innocent of. Sexual assault on college campuses is an area of growing concern for Milwaukee area parents and their children, and the way in which these incidences are handled is important to ensure a just outcome. If you or a loved one has been accused of sexual misconduct, contact the criminal defense criminal defense Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd, LLC. for help. We have the knowledge and experience to help defend you in a sexual assault or Wisconsin internet sex crime matter.
Sources: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinal,“Student from Cedarburg Arrested as Suspect in UW-Madison Sexual Assault”,
By Bruce Vielmetti, accessed February 10, 2015 & NPR.org, “Harvard Law Professors Say New Sexual Assault Policy Is One-Sided”, bu Tovia Smith, accessed February 11, 2015.