May 12, 2015

ASHE SCHOW: Andrew Cuomo inadvertently makes case for police involvement in campus sexual assault.

Thanks to the federal government, over the past few years colleges have been moving away from the criminal justice system and creating their own pseudo-justice system to handle sexual assaults. And while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is all for that pseudo-system, on Monday he inadvertently made the case for letting the police handle what is actually a crime.

While unveiling his latest idea to combat campus sexual assault — an extension of his proposal from last year — Cuomo, perhaps by accident, described why police involvement is better than campus hearings.

“We’re putting together a special unit in the State Police. Here’s the State Police hotline, call the police, treat it like a criminal justice matter. Your rights were violated, you have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not going to let the campuses cover it up anymore,” Cuomo said. “You have the right to go to the police, make your case, if that person was guilty, get them out, and make them pay the crime so it won’t happen again. That’s what this law says.”

That last part — “make them pay the crime so it won’t happen again” — is important. The most a college campus could due to a potential rapist is expel them, leaving them free to prey on non-students. It’s the criminal justice system that could actually put away dangerous people.

If that were what Cuomo’s proposal did, it would be a step toward combatting sexual assault. Of course, that is not what his proposal actually does.

Of course not.

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