SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing how Utah State University handles reports of sexual harassment and assault.
The federal probe comes amid a high-profile case alleging former USU football star Torrey Green sexually assaulted seven women, and another arguing the Logan college did little to protect a student from a fraternity member accused of assaulting five women before he raped her.
The department and the university declined to say why the justice department's Educational Opportunities Section took up the probe. It was opened in January, said USU spokesman Eric Warren.
"USU is cooperating fully with the review and welcomes the opportunity this will provide as we continue to improve our processes," Warren said in a statement.
He declined to give specifics. So did a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. She said the department has a policy of not talking about its investigations.
Broadly, the investigation seeks to determine whether the school of roughly 25,000 undergraduates is complying with Title IX, the federal law barring sex-based discrimination in schools.
Title IX law has provided a path of recourse in recent years for students who believe their colleges mishandled reports of sexual assault.2 comments on this story
Title IX requires administrators to investigate the reports if students ask them to. It also puts colleges on the hook to provide resources such as counseling and academic help to those who come forward as victims.
USU is not the first Utah school to come under scrutiny related to Title IX. The civil rights arm of the U.S. Education Department has opened probes at five Utah schools. They are: University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, Westminster College and Utah Valley University.