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EMU taps firm to audit policies amid sex assault allegations against ex-students

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Eastern Michigan University has hired a law firm to review its policies and actions for handling sexual assault allegations against some former students, officials said this week.

EMU hired Philadelphia-based Cozen O'Connor this month to review and audit its Title IX-related policies, procedures and actions regarding the allegations. Title IX is a law that prohibits sexual discrimination at education institutions that receive federal funding.

"We are committed to knowing if our processes related to the recent cases were followed by university employees and, if not, why not and what steps should be taken to ensure that our students are protected and supported," the university said in a statement. "The results of this independent review will be made public."

The move comes after a number of former EMU students were accused this summer of sexually assaulting victims when they attended the school. The alleged assaults happened at off-campus residences and years ago, according to the school.

One of the accused is a Washtenaw County Sheriff's deputy. He has since been suspended with pay while authorities investigate.

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"We are deeply concerned about the reports of criminal sexual conduct involving our former students," EMU officials said. "We stand by and strongly support all survivors of sexual assault. There is no place for sexual violence in our campus community and we will always take swift action to stop it."

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez