Six women reported a Louisiana college student for sexual misconduct. No one connected the dots, because LSU, UL Lafayette and Louisiana Tech University did not follow statutes dictated by state law designed to root out predators on Louisiana campuses, according to a new USA Today report.
Act 172, passed in 2015, requires universities and local law enforcement agencies to alert one another to reports of alleged sex crimes involving students in their areas. It ordered colleges to block students from transferring schools during sex-offense investigations and to disclose any resulting disciplinary actions to incoming schools.
In this case, the accused student, Victor Daniel Silva, who has never been charged with a sex crime, transferred from LSU to UL-Lafayette, and then to Louisiana Tech despite allegations against him. In Lafayette, three women reported Silva to the police department, but the police never informed the school.
Silva’s case illustrates how universities continue to struggle with the most basic response to sexual assault allegations. Over and over when women came forward about Silva, college officials and police didn’t communicate, didn’t convey critical information, and didn’t connect the dots on a pattern that might have shaped how they pursued the allegations.
These failures show how the mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations extends beyond just LSU, which has come under fire after investigative reporting by USA Today found school officials covered up reports of rape, domestic violence and harassment and botched investigations under Title IX, the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education. Read the full report.