Internal Title IX investigation underway at USI in connection to sexual assaults

Internal Title IX investigation underway at USI in connection to sexual assaults

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - University of Southern Indiana leaders have banned a person from campus after a string of alleged sexual assaults.

The accused perpetrator is known to those who turned in it in.

Now some students are wondering if those actions are enough.

It’s not unusual to see Vanderburgh county sheriff’s deputies patrolling USI’s campus. But we’re learning, so far, their office will not be investigating this case. It all comes down to how the crime was reported.

USI Public Safety has been made aware of the string of sexual assaults which they say happened in USI housing.

“Kind of makes you wonder and worry about maybe who else is going through things they don’t talk about,” USI sophomore Lauren Mehne said.

The accused perpetrator has been identified and campus leaders say the person knows the victim reporting the incidents.

“I don’t think anyone should be quiet about this, if they know anything or been affected by this,” USI student Shane Tominack said.

14 news is told that person has been banned from campus during the investigation, but it won’t be the sheriff’s office looking into the case at this point. Sheriff Dave Wedding says his office wants to investigate, but the assaults were reported to Title IX officials on campus. Sexual assault victims are given the option of reporting it to law enforcement and requesting a criminal investigation, but are not required. In this case, no criminal complaint has been filed.

“Obviously would feel more comfortable with the sheriff’s office handling it, but USI feels confident enough to handle the situation on their own,” Tominack added.

“I understand they’re trying to protect his privacy, whoever it happened to their privacy, it could be a good thing that they’re keeping it kind of private in the University only, but I think it’s important to share with the community,” Mehne explained.

Any other victims are encouraged to come forward.

“When a student reports an incident of alleged sexual misconduct to the University, the University must strive for impartiality and work to balance the interests of the victim with those of the alleged perpetrator. Confidentiality and privacy should be maintained to the highest degree possible while ensuring a thorough investigation of the complaint," USI Title IX coordinator Carrie Lynn wrote.

During the campus ban, we’re learning the person will remain a student. But accommodations will be made for them to continue studies without physically being on campus.

The status of the student could change as the investigation continues.

Copyright 2019 WFIE. All rights reserved.