Top Minnesota Officials Sort Out Sex Offender Program's Fate

"Minnesota is under federal court pressure to rework its program that locks up sex offenders even after they serve out prison terms, a system the state's political leaders have vigorously defended.

Come Monday, the challenge will be front and center as a cavalcade of lawmakers, program administrators and lawyers meet to discuss potential fixes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The court conference is closed to the public. A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, petitioned for access, but the judge denied the request.

Under court supervision, top Minnesota officials begin task of reworking sex offender program

"Minnesota is under federal court pressure to rework its program that locks up sex offenders even after they serve out prison terms, a system the state's political leaders have vigorously defended.

Come Monday, the challenge will be front and center as a cavalcade of lawmakers, program administrators and lawyers meet to discuss potential fixes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program. The court conference is closed to the public. A coalition of media organizations, including The Associated Press, petitioned for access, but the judge denied the request.

Students Accused Of Sexual Assault Say Schools Don't Interview Their Witnesses

"Students accused of sexual assault are complaining about the failure of universities nationwide to interview their witnesses, echoing similar complaints from alleged rape victims.

There is, in fact, no requirement that a college interview all available witnesses, which some critics of campus sexual assault investigations consider a significant flaw.

...

Columbia Students Say University Made Missteps In Multiple Sexual Assault Cases

"In the beginning of the fall 2014 term at Columbia University, Zachary, then a senior, had just started dating a fellow student. They were not 'boyfriends yet,' Zachary said, but they decided to attend an on-campus party together late one Thursday night.

Zachary said they did not stay long at the party and agreed to leave together. They went back to Zachary's date's dorm room. Once they were in private, Zachary said, the male student attempted repeatedly to coerce him into intercourse, and forced Zachary to perform oral sex. He said he experienced throat pain from the incident.

More than 250 sexual assault kits never sent to crime lab

"More than 250 sexual assault kits were never sent off to the state's crime lab at three of the area's largest law enforcement agencies.

...

But what experts are now learning is that when investigators choose not to test every kit, it comes at a high price. In some cases, it has allowed predators to keep preying.

...

'Offenders in some cases would have been off the street and wouldn't be able to commit more crimes,' says Corey Rayburn Yung, a University of Kansas associate law professor, who has studied America's hidden rape crisis.

Expert says unfounded rape cases can lead to attackers going free

"Each year local law enforcement agencies decide which rape cases will be reported to the FBI and which ones will not, sometimes leaving rapists on the streets to attack again.

A national expert says the number of rapes reported often are underreported in midsize to larger cities like Chattanooga so the numbers don't look as bad.

...

Yung conducted a study using FBI uniform crime reporting statistics from 1995 to 2012 in cities across the country, including Chattanooga.

He compared the number of homicides reported to the number of rapes.

An Error in Wisconsin

"While we’re on the topic of moral attention: A study just published by the American Psychological Association found that universities underreport sexual-assault complaints on their campuses when they’re not being watched by the U.S. Department of Education, although they report complaints accurately during audits by federal officials. 'The result is students at many universities continue to be attacked and victimized,' writes the study’s author, Corey Rayburn Yung, a law professor at the University of Kansas, 'and punishment isn’t meted out to the rapists and sexual assaulters.'"

Study Shows Colleges Continue to Underreport Sexual Assault

"Colleges and universities are likely to underreport or downplay the number of sex crimes on campus unless under federal scrutiny, according to a new study published in the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.

The study, which looked at four-year schools with at least 10,000 students between the years of 2001 and 2012, found that when the Department of Education audits schools for possible Clery Act violations, sexual assault reports rise by approximately 44%. After the audit, reporting rates fall back to pre-audit levels, the New York Times reports.

Study: University sexual assault reports differ greatly when under investigation

"Higher education institutions are required by law to report campus crimes. Under the Clery Act, crime rates should be made public. While many universities and colleges do report their criminal cases, a new study found that when it comes to sexual assault, an overwhelming amount of schools report very different rates when they are under federal investigation, oppose to when they are not under the microscope.

Sexual assault survivor urges other women to come forward

"In the wake of a new University of Kansas professor's study about how often universities fail to report sexual assaults, a young survivor explains why it took her years to open up about what happened to her.

...

One in five women on college campuses becomes the victim of a sexual assault, experts believe, but many never report the crime. A new study by University of Kansas law professor Corey Yung found that universities also play a role.

'The pattern, the norm, seems to be undercounting,' Yung said.

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