Agencies consider future handling of sex assaultSexual assault cases may be handled differently in the future at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
By: By Laura Podgornik/Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Sexual assault cases may be handled differently in the future at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
After meetings last week with law enforcement agencies, all sides say in a joint release, they’ll update policies and procedures when it comes to investigating sexual assault.
Last week’s meeting was held to discuss reports that none of the ten cases of sexual assault reported to UWS since 2004 had been prosecuted. Representatives from UWS, the Superior Police Department, the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, the Douglas County District Attorney’s office and Douglas County Victim Witness all sat in on the meeting that lasted about an hour.
After the meeting, Douglas County District Attorney Dan Blank was the only one to speak to reporters. He said they’ll have more meetings about handling future cases.
“When I was there, there was talk about what the anonymous reporting system was for the university, so people had more information about that. I talked briefly about how we assess cases and decide charging decisions and communicate with complainants or alleged victims.”
Anonymous reporting allows a people to file reports without giving their name. Blank says that makes prosecuting cases virtually impossible.
UWS Campus Safety Director Gary Gulbrandson says the meeting was productive. He says a Sexual Assault Response Team meeting was held Monday to look at other ways to bring about more prosecution. Even so, he doubted that UWS’ policies handling sexual assault cases will change. He declined to be recorded for the interview.
Superior Police say a similar group, the Domestic Assault Response Team, met Monday.
The joint statement says all agencies agreed, “victims are better served by a cooperative working spirit.”
The statement goes on to say they will all work to develop and update policies that will protect victims and hold perpetrators accountable.