Feds review Marquette response to assault reports

The U.S. Department of Education is reviewing how Marquette

University handled two cases of alleged sexual assault involving

athletes, and agency spokeswoman said.

The review falls under the federal Clery Act, the same act that

prompted federal authorities to investigate sexual abuse

allegations involving former assistant Penn State football coach

Jerry Sandusky.

The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that

participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose

information about crime on or near their campuses.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said in May

that law enforcement couldn’t adequately investigate the two

alleged sexual assault cases because Marquette’s public safety

department didn’t tell authorities about the allegations and

Chisholm therefore couldn’t file charges.

The school had previously advised students of available options,

including reporting the allegations to the police department. The

school has since changed its protocol to start notifying police

immediately of sexual assault allegations.

Jane Glickman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Education,

declined to discuss the details until investigators issue a

determination letter. Marquette was told it was under investigation

on Oct. 4. Glickman said the review was under way.

The federal Office of Student Aid can fine schools for

violations of the Clery Act. Such fines can be as high as $27,500

per violation.

Marquette spokeswoman Mary Pat Pfeil told the Milwaukee Journal

Sentinel (http://bit.ly/sYmWom ) the department has not requested

on-campus interviews.

”As it has in other cases involving reports of sexual violence

on college campuses, the U.S. Department of Education is conducting

a paper program review of Marquette University relative to

reporting required under the Clery Act,” she said. ”The

university has provided USDE with all requested information.”

Marquette has not identified which sport the athletes

participated in. Interim athletic director Mike Broeker said all

the athletes involved were disciplined under the student conduct

code as well as athletic department rules. He did not disclose the


In an October 2010 case, one of the four accused athletes said

the athletes and the coaching staff met and discussed the incident

before any law enforcement officer was able to interview the

suspects. In addition, one of the athletes allegedly involved

texted the accuser during that meeting, asking whether she had

reported the incident at Marquette’s Public Safety Department.

In a separate incident, an athlete was accused of sexually

assaulting a woman Feb. 27 on campus. Public Safety did not tell

police about it, and the female student reported it to police March