A closer look at sexual assaults on university campuses

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Two of Kansas’ major universities are under fire after lawsuits were filed saying that university officials mishandled rape accusations.

Kansas State University and The University of Kansas have found themselves in a tough situation.

Both are being sued for not investigating rape allegations on and off-campus. But what is the fine line when dealing with these kinds of investigations?

Both university combined have more than six open federal Title IX investigations for allegedly mishandling sex assault complaints, according to The United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

But in the majority of the lawsuits filed against the universities alcohol played a role. Either the victim was inebriate or the attacker. Knowing that, where does that mean in cases like this?

“The [Kansas] statue does say when the victim is powerless based upon any narcotic drugs or alcohol beverages in that condition renders her incapable of giving consent,” said Billy Rork, a local Topeka attorney.

Even if one of the individuals was coherent, they had to know that the other was not. Making the intercourse illegal.

The women in the lawsuits for both schools say they are holding their respective universities accountable for creating a hostile education environment.

Claiming both schools violated their Title IX rights and failed to protect them after the assault was reported.

KSU and KU’s protocols and practices for sexual assault outline that all sexual harassment complaints will be reviewed with a prompt resolution for students and address any systemic problem that arise during the review of the complaint.

“There’s a civil duty owned by people, as well as a criminal duty. And the civil duty maybe the university isn’t following their civil obligations,” said Rork.

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