A federal investigation has been launched into how the University of Southern California handles cases of reported rape. The probe comes after official complaints were filed in May from a group of students who allege the University "misconstrued facts, mishandled cases, and misreported victim's testimonies," said Tucker Reed, a victim's rights advocate.
Reed, a USC student, went to school officials in December to report being raped by her boyfriend of two weeks. She provided four recorded confessions from her attacker but she says he was not found of any wrong doing. "The process made me feel raped a second time," Reed said.
Now, the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is investigating the Title IX sex discrimination polices at the school. In a statement, Jody Shipper, USC's Title IX coordinator and executive director of the Office of Equity and Diversity said the school is "looking forward to working with federal officials" and the investigation into the complaints "in no way implies the OCR has made a determination with regard to their merits."
USC says the school revamped its sexual assault reporting procedures last year but Reed says about the written procedures, "the University has all of them in student conduct codes, but it doesn't bother to live up to them."
For Reed, she says, "I'm hopeful by bringing attention to the issue we can address loopholes being taken advantage of," and she says she hopes to, "restore rights to sexual assault victims."
This issue is not unique to USC, similar complaints by students have been filed at UC Berkley, Occidental College, Yale, and Swathmore.