BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As federal officials probe how accurately Louisiana State University (LSU) reports campus crime, former students who’ve long sounded alarms about misconduct allegedly being swept under the rug are speaking out.
“The official investigation caught a lot of us by surprise yesterday. I don’t think many of us knew it was actually happening, I wasn’t even sure exactly what that meant”, said Samantha Brennan.
Brennan is a former student currently involved in a legal fight with the university.
She claims in 2016, during her time as an LSU student, Derrius Guice, still a member of the university’s football team, took a nude photo of her without permission and shared it with others.
Brennan filed a police report before leaving the university a short time later.
She later attempted to get a copy of that police report to support a newspaper article that features several people who claim the university mishandled their sexual misconduct cases
LSU denied that request initially, then provided the report on the condition that it would black out names. The university was later ordered by a judge to provide a copy of the report to Brennan with the names included.
The Department of Education (DOE) is now leading a federal investigation into the university’s compliance with the Clery Act. That federal investigation has not been explicitly linked to Brennan’s allegations or other allegations of sexual assault.
The Clery Act is most commonly associated with sexual assault reporting on campuses, but can be used to assess other types of campus crimes.
However, the DOE has requested records dating back to 2016, meaning Brennan’s case could potentially become a focus.
LSU acknowledged the investigation by saying, “campus safety and the well-being of those at LSU is always our priority, and following Clery guidelines for reporting and notifying the campus community is an important part of crime prevention that we take seriously.”
Brennan says LSU’s statement, much like the university’s response to her allegations against Guice, is lackluster.
“If that was a thing they took seriously I feel like I should have known about it when I reported my incident in 2016 to the police, Sharon Lewis, to the school, anybody”, said Brennan.
The school has hired a law firm to review its behavior and determine whether it made mistakes. The firm will finish its work and give a report to the school later in February.
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