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- MEMBERS SENTENCED TO 2 YEARS FOR HAZING IN FLORIDA
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- DEAN ACQUITTED FOR FAILURE TO REPORT A FELONY
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Newsletter > March 2007 > "DEAN ACQUITTED FOR FAILURE TO REPORT A FELONY"
DEAN ACQUITTED FOR FAILURE TO REPORT A FELONY
Tim Burke, Manley Burke, firstname.lastname@example.org
On February 9, 2007, a jury in Cleveland, Ohio acquitted the former Dean of Notre Dame College on two misdemeanor counts of failure to report a felony.1
As reported in the September 2006 issue of Fraternal Law, “Confidentiality vs. Legal Obligation,” the Dean had been approached by two college women who each reported that they had been sexually assaulted by another student in separate incidents. Each of the women asked the Dean not to report the assaults. Subsequently, the same perpetrator assaulted four other women. That perpetrator now faces 21 felony charges, including rape and kidnapping. Ohio, like many other states, requires that someone who knows of a felony is obligated to report it to law enforcement. The Dean was charged for failing to do that in a timely fashion.
In a statement released to Fraternal Law, Bill Mason, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, said:
“We are disappointed with the Jury’s verdict. There is a reason why the law in Ohio requires all persons to report felony crimes to law enforcement authorities. Had these rapes been reported, there may not have been more attacks. We will continue to prosecute these types of cases in the future.”
Obviously, it is natural to be concerned about the victim of an assault and to want to respond sympathetically to a request for confidentiality. The law, however, may require a different result and, as in the Cleveland case, if a crime goes unreported, the assailant may be free to strike again.
Texas’ tough anti-hazing law is another example of it being a crime not to report a crime. Someone with firsthand knowledge of plans for a specific hazing incident, or firsthand knowledge of such an incident occurring, must report it to the Dean of Students or other appropriate College official. Failure to do so is a Class B Misdemeanor.2
1 O.R.C. 2921.22
2 Tex. Educ. Code Ann. §37.152 (2006)