SMU President, Dallas County District Attorney Meet On University’s Handling Of Rape Cases

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Southern Methodist University President R. Gerald Turner and Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins met Monday to discuss the university’s handling of sexual assault reports on campus — a process that some say is flawed.

Watkins reached out to Turner to express concerns after two students were arrested last month on sexual assault charges. The first case took eight months to get to the district attorney’s office; the second took only two days.

The discrepancy has raised questions about whether SMU’s student conduct process — which is required under federal law — adequately protects victims and deals with the accused without slowing down the criminal justice system.

“As soon as you have probable cause and a packet that you can submit to the DA’s office … that should be done,” Watkins said.

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