Feds look into Marquette's response to alleged sex assaults

Feds look into Marquette's response to alleged sex assaults

By The WTMJ News Team. CREATED Nov 11, 2011

MILWAUKEE - Marquette University was under federal investigation Friday morning for how it handled two cases of alleged sex assaults on campus.

The university has changed its policy, but now the U.S. Department of Education is looking into the matter.

The alleged assaults reportedly involved student-athletes, and reportedly happened in February of 2011 and October of 2010.

Neither were reported by Marquette Public Safety to Milwaukee Police.

The investigation falls under the Clery Act, which also has prompted federal authorities to investigate the Penn State sex abuse scandal.

The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on or near their campus.

Marquette University officials publicly acknowledged mistakes and has since made changes.

The school's policy changes now ensure that all sexual assault allegations are reported to the Milwaukee Police Department.

"The incidents that happened last spring really gave us an impetus, I think, to look at our policies, and also federal policies, to allow everyone to get in and revise our policies to be more victim-oriented," said Dr. Stephanie Quade, MU's Dean of Students.

"We've established a clear protocol with our Public Safety department.  It's one of the things we really had to look at last year in terms of where they involve the Milwaukee Police Department.  At this point, they are reporting what they get right away to the sensitive crimes unit as soon as they get a report from a student.

Additionally, all first-year students are briefed on sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training.

The Marquette investigation has been ongoing since October.

A university spokesperson told the Journal Sentinel
that Marquette has provided the U.S. Department of Education with all requested information, but so far they have not asked for any on-campus interviews.

Universities in violation of the Clery Act could face fines as high as $27,000 per violation.