WASHINGTON (AP) – Penn State University major changes will need to be made to the way it handles sexual assault complaints after an investigation into the school's handling of allegations after Jerry Sandusky scandal, the Department of Education announced Thursday.
US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos detailed how the university he will be held responsible for a major overhaul of his Title IX procedures after he "failed to protect students and resolve their complaints of sexual abuse".
O university paid more than $ 100 million to resolve complaints from about three dozen people who claimed that Sandusky, 73, had abused them and made a series of changes to their policies and procedures after the allegations arose.
"As I said before, 'delayed justice is justice denied' and, for a long time, students of Penn State denied justice, ”said DeVos in a statement released on Thursday.
Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year sentence for sexual abuse of boys, including attacks that took place on campus. Victims who testified at his 2016 trial said the former coach subjected them to a series of abuses, ranging from personal care to violent sexual attacks. Sandusky has always maintained his innocence.
An investigation initiated in 2014 looked at eight of the school's campuses during the 2011-12 academic year to the current academic year and determined the university violated Title IX.
The department said its Civil Rights Office was appointed to oversee changes in the way the university deal with future allegations of sexual misconduct, including those involving athletic officials.
The order requires Penn State provide “individual remedies” to victims whose complaints the school “failed to deal with quickly and fairly”.
O university it will also have to review its record-keeping practices in an effort to ensure that appropriate procedures and documentation are adopted and reported to the Office of Civil Rights for all Title IX complaints for the past two school years.
“Given all the attention that Penn State faced following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it is disappointing that so many serious problems remained in that university system, ”said Kenneth Marcus, head of the Civil Rights Office, in a statement.
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