A group of 13 University of Southern California students, along with several other unnamed students, claim they suffered from extensive failures on the part of university administrators and the Department of Public Safety in responding to reports of sexual violence on campus.
One student involved in the USC complaint, who asked to remain anonymous, said a DPS detective told her the campus police determined that no rape happened in her case because her alleged assailant did not orgasm, and that therefore they had decided not to refer the case to the Los Angeles Police Department.
"Because he stopped, it was not rape," she was told, according to the complaint. "Even though his penis penetrated your vagina, because he stopped, it was not a crime."
Escalating their complaints against the university’s administration's handling of rape and sexual-assault cases, some students announced Monday they have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education to determine if any civil rights had been violated.
Tucker Reed, who founded Student Coalition Against Rape, or SCAR, and several other students voiced their complaints against the school for failing to take action against accused attackers even when presented with recorded confessions.
In response to a Title IX complaint filed in May, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights launched the inquiry on June 26, although complainants only received notice during the weekend that the investigation had begun.
OCR program manager Charles R. Love confirmed in a letter to Reed that the agency is investigating allegations the university failed to prosecute and adjudicate claims of sexual violence and to respond promptly to complaints of harassment on campus. Such failures would be violations of Title IX, a federal gender equality law.