Sexual assaults reported in 2013 on Kansas University's campus up from previous year

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LAWRENCE, Kansas — A new report said sexual offenses reported last year on the Kansas University campus increased by 10 from the previous year.

The federal Clery Act requires colleges to report crime statistics and submit them to the U.S. Department of Education. Thirteen sex offenses were reported in 2013; three were reported in 2012; and two were reported in 2011. The numbers come from incidents filed to the college's Public Safety Office, student affairs office and the Department of Student Housing, the Lawrence Journal-World reported (http://bit.ly/1rPsTOG ).

On Wednesday, the school placed the Kappa Sigma fraternity on interim suspension after receiving reports of a sexual assault during a weekend fraternity party. University and Lawrence police have not released details of the alleged assault. University Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little described the claims as "disturbing and serious."

Mitchell Wilson, executive director of the national organization, said it is investigating the matter. The national fraternity also suspended the local chapter and will evaluate lifting the suspension after reviewing all the of facts provided by its investigation, Wilson said.

He doesn't know how long the investigation will take, but said the organization is working with the university.

Kansas University is one of 76 U.S. schools that federal officials are investigating over the handling of sexual assault reports. A student recently complained she was raped and said her alleged attacker was given a light punishment.

Students have protested against the Kansas University administration since then and have called for changes to policies on sexual assault training and how investigations are conducted.

The school's chancellor has established a task force to provide recommendations on how to improve the system.

Angela Murphy, co-chairwoman of the task force, said she believes more students are coming forward to report sexual assaults because the profile of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, which investigates assault claims, has been raised.

She also said the 13 reported sexual assaults are not the actual number of assaults that occur on campus.

"If you look statistically across the nation on average for each assault reported, eight go unreported," she said.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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