New Questions on Sex Assaults at Florida State

November 30, 2015

Court records show that the head of Florida State University's Victim Advocate Office testified that in 2014, 113 students reported being sexually battered (the legal equivalent of rape in Florida), and that Florida State reported only nine cases to the federal government, The New York Times reported. The head of the office also reported that in her nine years of work in the office, she heard accusations of either sexual assault or domestic violence against around 40 football players, but that only one such person was ever found responsible of such allegations. Most women, "based on fear," opted not to pursue cases, she said.

The university issued a statement that defended its handling of sexual assault cases, saying that it has "no way to confirm or deny" the allegations made in the court records because "communications with such victims are confidential. All students who seek Victim Advocate services are offered the opportunity and support to move forward within the criminal justice system or within the university. Equally important, those who wish to remain confidential and/or anonymous are given that opportunity. Absent a student being willing to report outside of the confidential walls of the Victim Advocate Program, the hands of the criminal justice system and the university's conduct code proceedings are tied. We cannot act on allegations of which we are unaware."

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