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New Jersey lawmakers move bill on campus assaults

Local News | May 09, 2014

New Jersey lawmakers move bill on campus assaults

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey legislative committee has advanced a bill that would make colleges pay $50,000 fines if they fail to report student-on-student sexual assault allegations.

Reporting is already required.

But the bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Reed Guisciora, told the Assembly’s higher education committee Thursday that it often does not happen. He says a fine would motivate schools to have a better reporting process. He says outside police should investigate all allegations.

But Barbara Berreski of the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities says it would contradict another law that says schools cannot force victims to press charges.

The bill was advanced to the full Assembly with all four Democrats voting for it and all three Republicans abstaining, with some saying the penalties should be on college officials personally instead.