After Virginia lawmakers unanimously passed bills fighting sexual assaults on college campuses, Gov. Terry McAuliffe will ceremonially sign the legislation steps away from the Capitol Thursday, receiving new suggestions on how to protect students from sexual violence.
Attorney General Mark Herring will present recommendations to the governor at 1:30 p.m., summarizing the work accomplished by the governor’s Task Force on Combating Sexual Violence. Herring currently serves as the chair of the Task Force.
Among the changes now mandated by the two bills, campus police will now be required to notify commonwealth’s attorneys within 48 hours of an investigation involving a felony criminal sexual assault.
Also, according to Senate Bill 172, “any responsible employee” who obtains information on an act of sexual violence is required to report the information to the college or university’s Title IX coordinator as soon as possible.
The bill also requires the Title IX coordinator to forward the information to a review committee, which must meet within 3 days after receiving the initial report.
Further changes also mandate governing boards of each public or private nonprofit institution of higher education establish a written memorandum of understanding with a local sexual assault crisis center or other victim support service.
The bills will be signed in the Patrick Henry Building across from the Capitol, in the building’s West Reading Room.
FULL TEXT OF CAMPUS ASSAULT BILLS:
HB 1785 Campus police departments; sexual assault reporting.
Campus police departments; sexual assault reporting.
Requires that mutual aid agreements between a campus police force and a law-enforcement agency contain provisions requiring either the campus police force or the agency with which it has established a mutual aid agreement to notify the local attorney for the Commonwealth within 48 hours of beginning any investigation involving felony criminal sexual assault occurring on campus property or other property related to the institution of higher education.
The bill also requires institutions of higher education that have security departments instead of campus police forces to enter into a memorandum of understanding with a law-enforcement agency and such memorandum of understanding shall contain similar provisions requiring reports to the local attorney for the Commonwealth.
SB 712 Higher education; handling of sexual assault cases.
Institutions of higher education; reporting acts of sexual violence.
Requires any responsible employee of a public or private nonprofit institution of higher education who in the course of his employment obtains information that an act of sexual violence has been committed against a student or on campus property or other property related to the institution to report such information to the Title IX coordinator for the institution as soon as practicable.
The bill requires the Title IX coordinator to report such information to a review committee, which shall meet within 72 hours (3 days) of the receipt of information of an alleged act of sexual violence and which shall include the Title IX coordinator, a representative of law enforcement, and a student affairs representative.
If the review committee determines that disclosure of the information regarding the alleged act of sexual violence is necessary to protect the health and safety of the victim or other individuals, the representative of law enforcement on the review committee shall disclose the information, including personally identifiable information, to the law-enforcement agency responsible for investigating the alleged act.
Further provisions can be read here.