USC and Occidental College have admitted to underreporting the number of rape cases on campus in recent years, reports the Los Angeles Times. USC officials said that they did not report 13 cases of sexual assaults to federal officials for 2010 and 2011, while at Occidental, 24 cases went unreported during the same period.
The schools claim that the mishandling of anonymously-reported cases led to the underreporting. Their admission could end up costing each university hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for violating the Clery Act, a federal law that requires schools to report crime numbers to the Department of Education.
Occidental is currently under investigation for violating the Clery Act. Students have filed similar charges against USC, but federal investigators have yet to launch an investigation.
The LA Times reports that both schools are also being investigated for possible Title IX infractions, a federal law that prohibits retaliation against individuals who complain about or participate in sexual assault investigations.
Jim Tranquada, Director of Communications, Occidental College
Caroline Heldman, Associate Professor of Politics, Occidental College