Roxbury College Draws Scrutiny For Apparent Gaps In Crime Reports

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Federal officials are auditing Roxbury Community College for suspected lapses in its reporting of crimes committed on campus - the latest in a series of controversies for college president Terrence Gomes.

Officials with the US Department of Education were expected to arrive on campus Tuesday seeking to find out why the college has failed to report serious allegations of crimes on campus. The officials have unofficially learned of at least three reports by students of such crimes, including sexual assault, over the past several years, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.

Federal law requires that allegations of all felony-level crimes be sent to police to investigate. In addition, the federal Clery Act requires all colleges and universities to submit an annual campus crime report.

Since 2008, the college has reported only six on-campus crimes to federal officials - one robbery and five aggravated assaults, characterized by a college official as fistfights, documents provided the Globe show. Those numbers, seen as unusually low for an urban campus, and the absence of more major offenses drew the attention of federal investigators, according to a person familiar with the inquiry.

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