Neither side happy with Miami U’s handling of alleged rape

Sept 28, 2017
Miami University suspended a male student accused by a female student of rape, but ruled the suspension would take effect after he finished his final semester. Both students have criticized the ruling.

Miami University is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for how it handled an accusation of rape by one student against another.

The investigation is looking into a University process that took nine months to review the student’s sexual assault claim when such reviews are supposed to take about 60 days. Also, the investigation is looking into whether other students were left at risk by the outcome of the case. A university board ruled that the male student involved had violated school policies but an administrator allowed him to stay on campus for a month after he appealed, enabling him to complete his courses.

RELATED: Prosecutor refuses Miami U student’s plea for arrest

Most investigations by colleges and universities into accusations of sexual assault are shrouded in secrecy; records from those investigations are often withheld and the public cannot typically see them. This newspaper interviewed both parties to this case, however, and received copies of hundreds of documents in an attempt to shed light on the complexity of these investigations, the process some students have to go by if they feel they are the victim of sexual assault, and whether these kinds of systems do enough to help make campuses safe.

This case has led to no criminal charges and both the male and female students say the experience left them feeling betrayed and angry.

RELATED: Miami University facing 2 new federal probes over handling of sexual assault

The event occurred in May 2015 and the investigation into it has involved a police inquiry, two reviews by separate Miami boards, and now a review by the U.S. Department of Education. The male student has denied that any rape took place and says the sexual encounter between he and the female student was consensual.

Behind the scenes: how a rape accusation at Miami University became a federal inquiry.


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