SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker is reviving a measure to make it clear that administrators can tell police if they believe a person accused of sexual assault threatens their campus.
Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, told a legislative panel Wednesday at the Utah Capitol that she is still hashing out the details of the new version as she meets with police and those who represent victims.
"It's so sensitive. It's so challenging," she said.
Coleman said she wasn't sure how the measure — if it had passed in the last legislative session — could have affected Lauren McCluskey, the University of Utah student shot and killed in October by a parolee she briefly dated.
"Had this institution had clarity on their ability to engage the local law enforcement, there may have been a different outcome," Coleman said. University police took reports from McCluskey about the man, 37-year-old Melvin Rowland, and the school has launched an independent investigation into how it handled the case.2 comments on this story
Coleman said after the hearing that McCluskey's death is tragic and she didn't want to speculate further. She said it's too soon to say whether McCluskey's death will inform the new version of the bill.
The measure also seeks to block universities from sanctioning a student for code of conduct violations if they are victims or witnesses of sexual violence. Victim advocates opposed it last year, saying it would chill reporting of sexual crimes that are already seldom made to police.
Coleman said she believes federal laws surrounding campus violence are sometimes conflicting and her bill aims to clear up confusion.