UAB student accuses school of mishandling sex assault probe

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has filed a federal complaint alleging school officials mishandled an investigation into an alleged sexual assault.

The woman spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity. She says was treated unfairly by the university’s investigation into the September 2014 incident.

The woman says she was sexually assaulted by a male acquaintance and didn’t want to pursue criminal charges. She instead sought an investigation after learning of federal laws to protect her on campus.

The woman says school officials didn’t consider key evidence and cleared the alleged attacker. She says school officials also told her to avoid the man around campus rather than making him avoid her.

UAB spokesman Jim Bakken says officials can’t comment on sexual assault investigations.

An advocacy group for survivors of campus sexual assaults says it has filed federal civil rights complaints against four universities over alleged mishandling of assault cases.

Sofie Karasek, co-founder of the group End Rape on Campus, said Tuesday it has filed complaints on behalf of accusers with the U.S. Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights. The complains are against Indiana University, Monmouth University in New Jersey, American University in Washington, D.C., and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The group says no-contact orders between the accusers and their alleged perpetrators weren’t enforced at all four schools. It says the alleged perpetrators were either found not responsible or given minimal sanctions.