Sex crime numbers paint inaccurate picture, one university says

According to data collected by Alabama colleges and universities, there is a rising trend toward sexual assault cases being reported in colleges and universities. One of the schools with the highest number of reported cases of sex crimes in the state is The University of South Alabama.

The Clery Act requires that universities and colleges report numbers on major crimes that occurred on campus. According to statistics collected under the act, there were 198 cases of burglary, 18 robberies and 18 forcible sex crimes between 2005 and 2010 on the USA campus but, campus police claim that doesn't create an accurate picture of the situation.

According to the university, the statistics present a slightly inflated view of the number of sexual assaults happening at the university because the school has such a strong victim's advocacy program and students are vigorously encouraged to report incidents of sexual assault. The school says the number of reported cases may seem abnormally high compared to other schools' statistics. They point out that even if the assault is only reported to the school and not to the police, it will still be reflected in the school's reporting.

If a victim of sexual assault chooses not to file charges against the person, the University of South Alabama police department is not allowed to file charges independently.

On occasion, charges that are filed against an individual may not be true. Those accused may benefit from consulting with an Alabama attorney well versed in the defense of these types of legal matters. The lawyer can help assess the facts and circumstances as they relate to the allegations made and assist in preparing and presenting a forceful defense designed to achieve the desired result.

Source: FOX 10 TV, "USA among schools with high numbers of reported sex crimes," Andrew Perez, Nov. 7, 2011

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