Washburn Investigated Over Sex Assault Response

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Washburn University in Topeka is withholding comment for now about being added to a national list of colleges and universities under federal investigation for their response to complaints about sexual assault.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights announced the addition of 13 schools to the list Wednesday. The colleges are facing inquiries under Title IX, the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination on campus. The agency previously released a list of 55 universities under investigation as part of a broader examination by federal officials.

Washburn spokeswoman Amanda Hughes said the university hadn't received notification as of Wednesday about the federal investigation and couldn't comment further about any alleged incidents of sexual assault.

Some of the investigations were initiated from complaints made to the Education Department. Others were launched following compliance reviews.

The Department has said just because a school is listed does not mean it has violated the law, only that it is under investigation. The list does not include any details about what prompted complaints.

Among other schools added to the list is Morgan State University in Baltimore. Morgan State University spokesman Clinton Coleman said the complaint against the school, filed on June 26, was over sexual assault that occurred on campus during the 2014 spring semester. Coleman said the assault took place in February, but was not reported until late March. The incident was referred to the Baltimore City Police Department, he said.

In addition to Washurn and Morgan State, other new schools on the list are the University of Delaware; Elmira College in Elmira, New York; University of Richmond; the University of Alaska System of Higher Education; Colorado State University in Fort Collins; Berklee College of Music in Boston; Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla; The University of Akron in Ohio; Cisco Junior College in Texas; and James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Posted by Melissa Brunner