By Tatum Smith
On Wednesday February 24, Major Adam Fouche, University of Georgia Police Department’s Deputy Chief of Operations held a news conference to discuss crime related issues and statistics at the University of Georgia. Fouche covered sexual assault cases versus the arrest rates. There are alarming high rates of sexual assaults on college campuses, whether they are reported or not. Fouche dives into how The University of Georgia handles these sexual assault reports.
One issue that concerns many students and parents on college campuses is sexual assaults. With a big downtown scene at The University of Georgia, this is a normal concern. Fouche explained some background information on what the requirements are of reporting an offence. The Clery Act of 1990 plays a big role in these reports. The federal government states what is required to be reported under this Act. Offences can be reported anonymously, or directly. All of these offences that are reported to the University have to be shown in the crime statistics. For example, a student reports a sexual assault to a resident assistant, they are required to report this incident.
According to UGA crime data from the years 2017 to 2019 there were 92 reported sex offences, these include rape, attempted rape, statutory rape, sodomy, sexual battery, and public indecency. Out of those reported cases, there were only 5 arrests. Looking at these numbers, you would wonder why the arrest rates are so low for the number of cases that are reported. Fouche started off with stating that this is a common concern from the public and the students. The university police use the Clery Act to collect the reports. There are many victims that do not follow through with their reports. When it comes to sexual assaults Fouche states, “you have to look at the difficulty and the complexity of the actual prosecution of these offences”. Many sexual offences are behind closed doors, where only the victim and the offender know exactly what happened. It comes down to “the jury and who do they believe more”. The University of Georgia works hard to prevent these attacks, and when impossible they do anything they can do to help the victim.