On-campus rapes doubled last year at KU, Clery report says; majority occurred in dorms

Annual campus safety report also lists no weapon crimes in first 6 months of campus carry

photo by: Sara Shepherd

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016.

Twice as many rapes were reported on the University of Kansas campus proper in 2017 than in the previous year, according to KU’s newly released annual campus safety report. Of the 12 reported on-campus rapes, nine were in campus housing — also more than the previous year.

Overall — including locations that are off campus but KU-affiliated — the total number of rapes reported at KU was nearly the same as it has been for the past couple of years, however. There were a total of 14 rapes reported in 2017, compared to 13 in 2016 and 16 in 2015, according to KU’s Clery report, which was released Friday and posted on the KU Office of Public Safety website.

The Clery report’s rape numbers are far higher than the four rapes tallied by KU police in 2017, according to the police department’s annual crime statistics released earlier this year.

The federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires postsecondary institutions to track and report a variety of crimes reported on their campuses.

Clery reports tally crimes reported to campus police, other law enforcement agencies and university officials — such as KU’s Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access (IOA), which investigates reports of sexual violence separately from police. Clery reports include crimes reported on campus proper, public property adjacent to campus and noncampus properties such as fraternities, sororities or buildings used for university purposes that aren’t necessarily contiguous to the campus.

KU police Deputy Chief James Anguiano said he couldn’t speculate on the number of rapes tallied in the Clery report, emphasizing that many of the incidents were never reported to or investigated by police. He did say that, generally, KU police work with campus partners on education and prevention efforts.

University spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Peterson also emphasized that the Clery report is a more comprehensive sweep.

“As with any such report, year over year data can fluctuate for any number of reasons,” she said in an email. “We know nationally that sexual violence is vastly underreported, and when we see an increase in reports we hope that it is because people are comfortable coming forward and using the support and resources KU has available.”

The 2017 Clery report is the first such report compiled since the Kansas Legislature mandated KU to allow concealed carry of handguns beginning in July 2017.

KU reported zero weapon law arrests or violations referred for disciplinary action by university administration in 2017, according to the report. Barcomb-Peterson said those numbers reflect violations of state law and not necessarily the university’s weapons policy.

The weapon law violations aren’t much different than past years. KU had one weapons law arrest on campus in 2016, but no other weapon arrests or violations referred for discipline in 2016 and 2015, according to the report.

According to previous reporting by the Journal-World, the 2016 arrest was from a traffic stop in the 1600 block of Engel Road where a person under 21 was found to have a handgun, along with drugs and paraphernalia.

More numbers of note from KU’s 2017 Clery report:

• There were 14 rapes reported in 2017. Two were at noncampus locations. Of the 12 on-campus incidents, nine occurred in campus housing.

On-campus rapes were higher than 2016 — when there were six reported on campus, including five in dorms — but about the same as 2015, which saw 11.

The Clery report’s definition of rape is more broad than state law. It defines rape as any nonconsensual penetration by a body part or object, including oral sex.

• There were seven fondlings at KU in 2017, all in campus housing. In 2016, there were six, also all in campus housing.

• Domestic violence, dating violence and stalking all went down significantly, with 26 reports in 2017 compared to 47 reports in 2016.

• There were two robberies, both on campus, in 2017. That’s up from one in 2016.

• Burglaries went down to 28, from 30 in 2016. In 2017, about two-thirds of those burglaries occurred at noncampus locations or on public property instead of campus proper.

• KU reported its first hate crimes since 2015, which saw one. In 2017 there were two: one involving race-based intimidation on campus and the other involving sexual orientation-based intimidation on campus.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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