Missouri bill on college rape stalls in Senate

9 months 5 days 2 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 - Missouri School of Journalism Professor Emeritus Rod Gelatt died Sunday January 19, at his home in Arizona. He... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 6:14:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship victory brought celebration and excitement to fans in Columbia yesterday. Teller's Gallery... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT — As of 3:45 p.m., the westbound lane of I-70 at the Missouri River bridge is now open, according... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:29:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department rescued a female driver from her car stuck in a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:08:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The snow and bitter cold did not stop the NAACP's Columbia chapter from remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - Police say an armed security guard may have shot and killed a man suspected of fatally shooting... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:46:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
FULTON - Maurice Alfred, 33, was arrested by the Fulton Police Department on Sunday and charged with burglary, domestic assault,... More >>
2 days ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:13:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
HOLDEN— Law enforcement officers in Holden, Missouri have taken a man into custody after a homicide Saturday, according to a... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 5:59:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After hosting several events Monday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 4:02:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Local Kansas City Chiefs fans are spending their day watching the game with family and friends to see... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:57:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Capitol Kids, a multipurpose gym, reopened its doors on Sunday, nearly 8 months after a tornado... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS- One Kansas City Chiefs fan saved the day by driving wide receiver Tyreek Hill's grandparents to the AFC... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
FLORISSANT - Additional charges will be filed against a man accused... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 1:19:50 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
(CNN)- The US Department of Agriculture on Friday announced two new proposals that would give school nutrition professionals "more flexibility"... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 12:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - A teenager who was critically wounded during a weekend shooting in southeastern Kansas City, Missouri, has died.... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:22:15 AM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ARNOLD, MO - A couple who had been together for nearly 65 years have died on the same day at... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 10:06:00 AM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ASHLAND- Dozens of children from across mid-Missouri came together to play and learn about a potential profession at the annual... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:53:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — Thousands of St. Louis-area families were freed from a major financial burden thanks to a charitable effort... More >>
3 days ago Saturday, January 18 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Saturday, January 18, 2020 6:25:00 PM CST January 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
2pm 34°
3pm 35°
4pm 35°
5pm 35°