Crimes Close To Campus Escape Federal Counting


Two rapes were reported barely 60 feet apart, one in a University of North Texas fraternity house, the other in an apartment across a small parking lot, says the Fort Worth Weekly. As far as federal campus-crime reporting law is concerned, the second rape complaint might as well have happened in another country. Because the first case was reported in a frat house, it was investigated by campus police, reported to the federal government, and disclosed to students. Students were never told about the second case, no less brutal, because it was investigated by Denton, Tx., police and not campus cops.

The university did not issue crime alerts on five other reported rapes since 2001 – crimes that the college did report to the federal government – because college officials decided that the perpetrators of those “date rapes” posed no danger to other students. The handling of those sexual assault alerts, though legal, made the campus look safer than some believe it is. The federal Clery Act, named after a Lehigh University student who was raped and killed in her dormitory room in 1986, requires all colleges and universities that receive federal funds to chronicle publicly crimes that occur on campus, in adjacent public areas, and on some non-campus properties such as fraternity and sorority houses. Crimes on other private property – even adjacent to the university and used primarily by students – are not required to be reported.


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