SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A campus sexual assault bill appears to be dead after advocates raised concerns it could involve police in investigations against victims’ wishes.
A panel of Utah lawmakers said Monday they were tabling the idea with Republican sponsor Kim Coleman in another hearing during the busy final days of the legislative session.
Coleman has pointed to Utah cases where women reported assaults only to find university officials already knew about multiple allegations against the perpetrator and didn’t stop them. She insists that should never happen.
Advocates, though, said even the possibility that college officials could give sexual assault allegations to police without victims’ permission could keep them from reporting the assaults at all, undermining work being done to nudge up an anemic reporting rate.
The bill also gives people who report sexual assaults broad amnesty from school honor codes.