Missouri bill on college rape stalls in Senate

4 months 3 days 20 hours ago Thursday, April 18 2019 Apr 18, 2019 Thursday, April 18, 2019 2:01:00 PM CDT April 18, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A bill to change how Missouri colleges and universities handle complaints of sexual assault and harassment hit a roadblock in the state Senate Wednesday, raising questions about its chances of passing in 2019.

At issue is how schools handle alleged violations of Title IX, a federal law that bans sex-based discrimination in education. Backers of the legislation said procedural changes are needed to ensure those accused of rape have a fair shot at defending themselves in the face of possible suspension or expulsion.

But universities and victim advocates pushed back against the proposals, and Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis said proposed changes would have a "chilling effect on victims."

A roughly six-hour debate on the measure that spanned Tuesday night into Wednesday morning ended without any action.

The latest Senate draft of the proposal would ensure students can be represented by attorneys, at their own expense, during investigations. That raised questions about equity for students who can't afford lawyers.

"What this legislation will do is make it more expensive, more intimidating for victims to report these kinds of crimes," said Sen. Lauren Arthur, D-Kansas City who added that sexual assaults "are already underreported."

Cross-examinations would be allowed, meaning those accused of misconduct could question their accuser. Use of the term "survivor" would be banned, and universities could lose state funding for violating investigation procedures outlined in the bill.

Both the Senate and House bills also would allow students to appeal decisions to the Administrative Hearing Commission, where two of three sitting commissioners have ties to backers of the legislation.

Commissioner Renee Slusher is married to Columbia defense attorney Chris Slusher, who previously testified in favor of the measure and told lawmakers he has represented people facing Title IX allegations. Presiding and Managing Commissioner Audrey Hanson McIntosh is married to lobbyist Richard McIntosh, who is pushing the measure.

The Grand Old Party Sen. Bill White, a Joplin attorney, said sexual assault cases should be handled in courts, not through the commission or universities.

As of Wednesday, 29 lobbyists were registered as working for an interest group pushing the bill called Kingdom Principles. That nonprofit is funding the Missouri Campus Due Process Coalition.

"We can't come close to the 100-plus taxpayer-funded lobbyists proponents of destroying Missouri college students' due process rights have among them," Missouri Campus Due Process Coalition spokesman Gregg Keller said in a statement, referencing university lobbyists. "But we believe we've put together an adequate team given the Constitutional nature of the rights our opponents seek to ruin."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The MU Police Department responded to a call at about 4 p.m. Wednesday to check on an... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 11:05:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - A motorcycle pursuit has Morgan County deputies and Eldon Police looking for a subject. The pursuit... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 9:57:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
OSAGE BEACH - An outside education service vendor used by multiple school districts across the state announced it had a... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:51:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
Farmers in southern Boone County are working together to repair a levee that broke after floods in June. The levee... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:23:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
VIENNA - The Maries County Sheriff's Department is continuing to investigate a house fire that they say someone intentionally started... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 6:59:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Students at Columbia College moved into a brand new residence hall Wednesday, the first housing structure built on... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
PRAIRIE HOME - The USDA released a weekly crop progress report Monday showing an incline in crop yield, but a... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 3:45:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
FULTON -- The Callaway County Humane Society is hoping to see additional funds from the county in its 2020 budget.... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 3:42:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Mike Parson issued a proclamation Wednesday ordering the state legislature to convene in a special session. ... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:44:00 PM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
FULTON, Mo. - Fulton Police Department said it arrested a man attempting to flee a scene involving firearms. Authorities... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 8:05:00 AM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
School is starting back up again, but reading might not be the first thing on a child’s mind. A workshop... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 21 2019 Aug 21, 2019 Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:50:00 AM CDT August 21, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The man who allegedly killed a woman who has been missing since 2006 arrived in Boone County Tuesday... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:28:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON - One person has minor burns after a fire Tuesday evening at an auto shop in Camdenton. According... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 9:07:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Businesses who are applying for their medical marijuana licenses in Columbia are one step closer after Monday night's... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:40:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - Finding the perfect parking spot can be a hassle, but it can be even more difficult if you... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 6:30:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Construction crews are continuing to work on both Jefferson City public high schools in preparation for classes... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
VIENNA - Multiple suspects are currently being questioned after officials said someone intentionally started the house fire leading to an... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:59:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The FEMA recovery center for Cole County closed its doors Tuesday. The center helped hundreds of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 20 2019 Aug 20, 2019 Tuesday, August 20, 2019 3:51:00 PM CDT August 20, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
5am 69°
6am 68°
7am 69°
8am 70°