SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on legislation addressing college sex assault reporting (all times local):
A group of Utah senators have unanimously backed a bill that would require college counselors to keep sexual abuse reports confidential, almost one year after Mormon-owned Brigham Young University faced major backlash when it was revealed it shared assault victim information with its honor code office.
Lawmakers in a Senate law enforcement committee voted in favor of the proposal Thursday after a short discussion on how requiring confidentiality could help more victims feel comfortable reporting a sexual assault.
The proposal by Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, would also apply to student reports of domestic violence, sexual harassment and dating violence.
It now goes to the full Senate for consideration. If approved, it heads to Gov. Gary Herbert.
Two bills addressing the way colleges handle sexual assaults have been introduced by Utah lawmakers almost one year after Mormon-owned Brigham Young University faced major backlash when it was revealed it shared sex assault information with its honor code office.
One bill requiring college counselors to keep sex abuse reports confidential is expected to be considered Thursday afternoon.
Another proposal that would have allowed colleges to send some reports of sex assault to law enforcement without the victim's consent appears dead.
House lawmakers voted against that proposal amid concern that it would take the control out of the hands of the victims and result in fewer students coming forward to report an assault. The plan would have also required colleges to give students who report sexual assault immunity for certain conduct code violations.