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Crime Data Analysis Links College Football Games With Higher Rape Totals

College football games and the partying that comes with them could be connected to hundreds of rapes of college-age women every year, says an analysis from a national think tank reported by The Tennessean. The National Bureau of Economic Research “working paper” used federal crime data to track the number of rapes reported in and around colleges during and after high-profile football games. A researcher said the data support a link between young people, sexual assault and heavy drinking. Top-tier […]

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Now That “Jackie” Is Discredited, Why Shouldn’t She Be Named?

In the 14 months since her story shocked the world in Rolling Stone magazine, a woman called “Jackie” has been at the heart of a national debate about sexual assaults on college campuses, has become embroiled in a media scandal, and is the central figure in a series of defamation lawsuits. There's one important fact missing about Jackie, the young woman who concocted a harrowing story about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity: her full name. The […]

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Miami Using $2M From NY Prosecutor To Test Thousands Of Rape Kits

In evidence rooms from Miami Beach to Hialeah, old swabs of saliva and smudges of semen collected from thousands of rape victims are slowly being pulled off the shelf and sent to labs to be harvested for DNA that may hold the key to solving crimes around the U.S., reports the Miami Herald. Whether for lack of a victim willing to testify, or because police already made an arrest, unprocessed rape kits have accumulated in Miami-Dade to a number that […]

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NY Prosecutor Makes Unusual Criticism Of Rape Charge Against Hockey Star

As he closed a rape investigation into Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane yesterday, a Buffalo-area prosecutor offered an unusually withering assessment of the accusation in the case, the Chicago Tribune reports. Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita III described a 21-year-old college student’s sexual assault claim against Kane as “rife with reasonable doubt” and said Kane never behaved like a guilty man. He diminished it further by referring to the investigation as “this so-called ‘case.’” The veteran prosecutor struck a […]

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An 18-Year Wait For A Conviction In A New Orleans Rape Case

Marie picked up the phone and dialed the number the New Orleans police detective gave her 10 days before, on the night she was raped at knifepoint outside a friend’s house. The Associated Press said it was the first of many calls she would make “in an 18-year ordeal of shoddy police work and numbingly slow prosecution to track down and convict her attacker.” “Nothing’s turned up yet,” the detective responded. “Why don’t you go on with your life?” “What […]

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FL Has 10,000 Untested Rape Kits, And State Hasn’t Finished Counting

The number of untested rape kits sitting in law enforcement evidence rooms in Florida is far worse than authorities had believed, the Miami Herald reports. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed there are more than 10,000 untested kits throughout the state, and they're not done counting. Next month, the agency will make public the full number as part of a $300,000 survey to identify just how big the backlog is. Up until now, the problem was only estimated as […]

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Courts Say Some Colleges Are Violating Rights Of Campus Rape Defendants

As colleges have been cracking down on campus sexual assault, some students complain that schools are going too far and trampling the rights of the accused in the process. In recent months, courts have offered some students some significant victories, slamming schools for systems that are stacked against the accused, NPR reports. “Schools are overcorrecting,” says a student from the University of California, San Diego. “People like me are always getting get hurt.” The student, who was suspended last spring […]

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TX Governor Complies With Prison Rape Law, 37 Facilities Pass Audit

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has promised that the state will implement federal rules aimed at eradicating rape in prisons and jails, less than two years after his predecessor, Rick Perry, said it would be “impossible” to do so, the Houston Chronicle reports. On the eve of his second unsuccessful presidential bid, then-Gov. Perry refused to sign on to the pledge, costing Texas more than $800,000 in federal grants and drawing the ire of criminal justice advocates. Just 18 months later, […]

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Cleveland Reporter Dissell Lauded for Rape-Kit Stories

Columbia Journalism Review profiles reporter Rachel Dissell of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, whose revelations about Ohio’s backlog of thousands of rape kits, some dating to 1993, led to a new state law that mandates timely testing. Dissell has been covering the story since 2010. In August 2013, she and her colleague Leila Atassi published a four-part series about their rape kit investigations. Since 2011, almost all of Cleveland’s backlog of 4,000 kits have been tested. More than 1,600 contained usable […]

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PREA at a Crossroads

In an apparent reversal of position, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this year that his state would comply with the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)—but his assurance came with a catch, which advocates say could erode the federal government's “zero tolerance” policy on sexual assaults in correctional facilities. Abbott wrote in an annual PREA compliance report, filed May 15 to the Attorney General, that Texas would implement PREA standards “wherever feasible.” His predecessor, Gov. Rick Perry had famously rejected […]