The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa is calling for an “independent, outside investigation” of how the University of Iowa handled a case of alleged sexual assault on campus. A female athlete at the school says she was assaulted by two University of Iowa football players last year.
Ben Stone, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, says an investigation by the Board of Regents – the panel that oversees the university — is “fine” but it isn’t enough.
“An outside entity should be investigating the situation because, you know, the way that this has developed and the way that we’re learned about things really lends itself to an outside party — perhaps the attorney general — to come in and take a look, “Stone says, “someone who’s not in Johnson County, who wasn’t in the university, who wasn’t in the university system, because sexual assault is a serious, serious matter.”
Stone points to the letter released by the mother of the alleged victim, as he says it contains “very disturbing information” about how U-of-I officials and others may have handled the investigation. “Clearly the news of the last several days involving this letter gives everybody who’s concerned about this type of situation great cause for concern,” he says.
Stone calls sexual assault a “profoundly disturbing crime” and he says it’s up to state government to do what it can to treat alleged victims and their families with respect.
“It seems as if justice would be best served if an outside entity would be empowered to investigate this or take the initiative to investigate the situation to see how the process moved forward,” Stone says, “and see whether or not any crimes were committed and whether or not there are any ways to improve this process.”