Multiple alleged sexual assaults reported in campus housing

A student was removed and banned from campus last week pending a Title IX investigation after multiple allegations of sexual assault.

The university announced they had become aware of multiple alleged sexual assaults that occurred in housing over the past week, in a Rave Alert sent at 5:17 p.m. Friday evening. The alleged perpetrator has been identified and is known to those reporting the incidents.

Title IX investigations are conducted independently from criminal investigations, although both may occur concurrently. While alleged victims of sexual assault are given the option to report to law enforcement and ask for a criminal investigation, they are not required to do so. In this case, no criminal complaint has been filed or investigation requested at this time according to Director of Public Safety Steve Bequette.

“When a student reports an incident of alleged sexual misconduct to the university, the university must strive for impartiality and work to balance the interests of the victim with those of the alleged perpetrator,” USI Title IX coordinator Carrie Lynn said. “Confidentiality and privacy should be maintained to the highest degree possible while ensuring a thorough investigation of the complaint.”

University spokesperson Ben Luttrull said the individual remains a student at the University and accommodations will be made for them to continue their studies without their physically being present on campus.

Violating a campus ban would be considered trespassing and could result in arrest or legal action. The individual’s status as a student could change as a result of the ongoing investigation and/or any new information or a criminal complaint.

The USI Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct Procedures for Complaint Reporting and Resolution states that “The Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator or designee may recommend in response to an alleged violation that the university impose reasonable and appropriate interim measures deemed necessary to protect the safety and well-being of the Complainant and/or the Respondent, as well as the safety and well-being of the university and university community.”

The email also mentioned the safety alert was sent in accordance with the “Timely Warning” provision of the federal Clery Act of 1988.

The USI 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report states that “USI Public Safety shall issue Timely Warnings or Safety Alert Reports to the campus community to provide timely and accurate warning notices to the campus community when appropriate and to ensure inclusion in the annual crime statistics.”

The report says that in the event of a serious crime or ongoing threat, a Safety Alert will be sent to all students, faculty and staff. These alerts are issued by USI Public Safety and will provide the campus community with information to take steps to protect themselves from similar incidents.

The University has not yet commented on when these events occurred.