TOLEDO -- T he University of Toledo is among dozens of college campuses across the country, including four new ones, with federal complaints being filed against them for alleged mishandling of sexual assault cases.
On Wednesday, complaints were filed with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) against UT, the University of Michigan, UC Santa Barbara, and Valparaiso University. Current and former students allege that their schools violated federal law by allowing their assailants to escape just punishment, remain in classes, and by at times discouraging students from reporting sexual assaults.
A former student of the University of Toledo alleges that, while enrolled at the school, she filed an official rape complaint, only to see her assailant barely punished. The girl's alleged rapist was allowed to remain on campus, ordered to take sexual education classes and pay a $25 fine for violating the school's student code of conduct.
The woman's complaint also UT was in violaton of the Clery Act, mandating disclosure of crimes committed on college campuses that are part of federal financial aid programs. She said she was not given the chance to appeal after her alleged rapist was granted permission to remain on campus after he appealed a one-year suspension.
Allegations being made by college students across the country are in violation of Title IX, a federal law which prohibits sexual discrimination in educational settings.
University of Toledo interim President Nagi Naganathan said in an email to students, faculty and staff Wednesday that UT has an "unwavering commitment to sexual assault awareness and prevention."
"University officials work with survivors regarding their options following allegations of a sexual assault," Naganathan said. "The survivors may choose to pursue criminal charges, charges through the Student Code of Conduct disciplinary process, both options, or neither."
"Additionally, UT's Office of University Inclusion works with survivors to provide immediate assistance such as changing courses, residence halls or other needs. This office also oversees UT's Title IX compliance efforts, working to ensure UT policies and procedures incorporate the best practices of federal and state agencies as well as universities across the country," he added.
Following the decisions made in her case, the woman who filed the complaint left the University of Toledo and enrolled at another school to complete her degree.