Boise State University officials confirmed there a report of rape at the university's Taylor Hall dormitory on Thursday, Jan. 21. University officials could not confirm the time of the alleged assault, but the report is not on the logs of the Boise Police Department. That's due to a policy that allows the alleged victim to avoid reporting to law enforcement.
"But the university is absolutely required to investigate," said Annie Kerrick, director of Boise State Title IX compliance. "There's not much we can tell us other than, yes, there was a rape reported on Thursday."
is the federal law that prohibits any discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs and activities. In particular, it applies to any educational institution that receives federal funds, and that includes Boise State.
"So, yes, our investigation
is mandated by federal law," said Kerrick. "I should say that we strongly encourage any person who reports such an incident to also report to law enforcement, but it is not required."
Boise State's Title IX investigations are generally completed in about 60 days and traditionally result in a formal report to the dean of students or university human resources. Unfortunately, that same internal investigation usually doesn't include a number of powers that law enforcement could apply, such as subpoenas or search warrants. But the university is also allowed to make several accommodation to a student who may be a victim of assault or discrimination, including altering class schedules or housing arrangements.
"But we're really limited in what we can share with the public at this stage," said Kerrick.
Following reports of previous incidents of sexual assault, Boise State officials have advised students, staff and the university community of the following safety tips:
- When you go out, go out in a group. Check in with peers throughout the night. Don't become isolated with someone you don't know or trust.
- Avoid going out alone at night.
- Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Avoid wearing headphones or earbuds.
- Perpetrators often target people who are intoxicated, and often use alcohol to facilitate assault. Never accept drinks that weren't poured in front of you, and keep beverages within sight at all times.
- Carry your cellphone in case of emergency.
- Report suspicious people and circumstances to campus security and police services.