Students from two colleges file federal complaints related to sexual assault

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Current and former students at two more prestigious colleges have reportedly filed federal complaints alleging mistreatment of campus sexual assault victims — the subject of a major investigation by the Center for Public Integrity.  

The New York Times reported that the complaints were filed against Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and Occidental College in California, alleging violations of the Title IX civil rights law, and in Occidental’s case, the Cleary Act, which established strict rules on reporting of campus crime. Over the past couple years, other elite schools, such as Wesleyan, Yale, Amherst and the University of North Carolina, have been plagued by similar allegations.  

In 2009 and 2010, the Center – in collaboration with NPR – did a series of investigative pieces entitled “Sexual Assault on Campus: A Frustrating Search for Justice.” The series revealed that students found “responsible” for campus sexual assaults often face little or no punishment from school judicial systems, while their victims’ lives are frequently turned upside down.

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