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News Editor’s Note: On publishing the police reports

Editor’s Note: On publishing the police reports


The Student Printz requested a copy of the police report pertaining to the October 2016 homecoming party that occurred in Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s fraternity house on Jan. 27, 2017. I chose not to publicize the reports in order to protect the victim, due to the sensitive nature of the contents. In solidarity of the movement for clarity in sexual assault cases, I decided to publish the report now.

Several redactions and full page redactions appear throughout the report to protect the victims, witnesses and the accused. The University of Southern Mississippi is unable to release this information as it is an “educational record” as defined by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Under FERPA, educational records constitute any “information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.”

The students involved in this case are protected by FERPA and Title IX and without consent of the student, this information cannot be released. This police report is not the full investigative report. According to the Title IX office, pages with information exempt from disclosure and/or are protected by federal law were removed from the report. The university will not release any other reports regarding the case, according to a university official.
At the request of the victim, several parts of the report have been retracted, due to the sensitive nature of its material.

The victim of sexual assault at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Oct. 30, 2016 homecoming party stated this in regards to the publication of the police report:

“I just want you to know that having this published is honestly so painful. My business becoming public entertainment is disgusting. I do not believe that it is at all necessary for the public to know any more details than they already do. What the students of this school and members of community need to know is this: a woman was sexually assaulted at Sigma Alpha Epsilon that night. Sharing the details of my report is unnecessary and causes prolonged pain for me.”

[pdf-embedder url=”https://www.studentprintz.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Police-Report_Redacted.pdf” title=”Police Report_Redacted”]


Related Stories:

Student Printz Editorial: Community needs transparency 

Student alleges Greek Life Office requests removal of media posts

A letter to USM by Robin Leonard

University response by Dr. Thomas Burke


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