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Possible Fines for Under-Reporting Campus Sexual Assaults

USC faces several hundred thousand dollars in penalties.

USC faces several hundred thousand dollars in penalties for failing to report alleged sexual assaults.

The Department of Public Safety said that in the last three years, 13 allegations were not reported as required under the Jeane Clery Disclosure Act. These cases were taken at USC's Center for Women and Men, which passed them on to DPS.

"They Clery Act provides for confidentiality in those circumstances where they are talking to an approved counselor, therefore we chose not to report those sexual assaults to LAPD," explained Captain David Carlisle from DPS.

The Department of Education has been investigating USC for mishandling sexual assaults since May.

USC student Francesca Bessey is an activist against sexual violence. "My Freshman year, I was raped by a USC Student," said Bessey. "I didn't report my assault because I didn't think it would be handled appropriately by the school."

"I think it's a good thing that DPS is representing these cases," said Senior Ben Wickett. "I think them not reporting this information is misrepresenting the sexual assault crimes on this campus."

Under previous administration, cases that were reported to counseling services anonymously and were not reported to the police were not included in the Jeane Clery Report. But DPS' new chief John Thomas said these cases should have been included.

"If you designate the head for the Center of Women and Men as a campus security authority, then we discovered that all of those numbers, reported anonymously or not, must be reported in the clery act," said Carlisle.

As of October 1st, the school cut the Center for Men and Women out of the reporting process and now all allegations have to go through DPS.

Occidental College has also disclosed that they underreported the number of sexual assault cases in recent years.

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