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UConn students file sexual assault complaints

Colleges and UniversitiesSexual AssaultUniversity of ConnecticutAssaultCrime, Law and JusticeLaws and LegislationU.S. Department of Education

Joining a growing list of students who allege that their colleges and universities have mishandled alleged sexual assault cases, seven current and former University of Connecticut students said Monday that they have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.

Some of the students are represented by Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, who said in a news conference in Hartford that students "feel that they have been betrayed by UConn, which has failed to keep them safe and betrayed them once they reported what happened to them."

One former student said a male student who had been found responsible by a campus panel for sexually assaulting her was expelled but was later allowed back to school. A junior said that she went to campus police to report a rape but the detective said "he did not believe me" and made spelling and grammatical errors when taking her statement.

UConn officials said they were confident that the cases had been handled appropriately.

Over the last two years, a number of students and alumni have filed Title IX complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, which oversees compliance with the anti-discrimination law.

Twenty-five colleges and universities, including USC and Occidental College, are actively under Title IX investigations related to sexual assault. Schools found to be in violation of the law risk fines and the loss of federal funding. Allred also is representing USC students who have filed a complaint.

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