GVSU accused of delaying assault reports

Posted at 3:40 PM, Oct 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-27 15:40:54-04

ALLENDALE, Mich. (AP) — Ottawa County authorities say Grand Valley State University has a policy discouraging prompt reporting of sexual assaults, which undermines their ability to gather evidence and successfully prosecute the crimes.

Ottawa County Prosecutor Ronald Frantz tells MLive the process is concerning because it hampers the ability to build cases.

The university’s police department investigates sexual assaults on campus and is supposed to forward cases with enough evidence to the prosecutor’s office. Frantz says reports trickle in from the university weeks, and sometimes months, late.

Frantz’s claims come as the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department investigates a string of four off-campus assaults this fall near the university’s main campus in Allendale.

University spokeswoman Mary Eilleen Lyon says the school has no policy discouraging prompt reporting of sexual assaults, but rather one that encourages quick reporting with respect for the victim’s needs.