Johns Hopkins U. faces federal probe related to handling of sex assault reports

The federal government has begun an investigation of Johns Hopkins University related to its response to reports of sex assault, the school said Tuesday.

The announcement from university President Ronald J. Daniels, in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff, means that the prestigious private university based in Baltimore joins dozens of other colleges and universities nationwide that face similar federal probes.

Two other universities in Maryland are listed as being under investigation: Frostburg State and Morgan State. There are four listed in Virginia: the College of William and Mary, James Madison University, the University of Richmond and the University of Virginia. There is one from the District: Catholic University.

Exactly what prompted the probe of Hopkins is unknown. In May, the Huffington Post reported that Hopkins knew police were investigating an alleged gang rape at a fraternity but failed to publicly alert the campus community.

Daniels wrote that the U.S. Education Department had notified Hopkins of a complaint.

“The Department’s Office for Civil Rights is pursuing an investigation, and, in a conversation with OCR [Monday], we have pledged our full cooperation,” he wrote. “Nothing remains more important to Johns Hopkins than the welfare of our students, and although the OCR notification does not contain any specific details about the underlying allegations, we will continue to take strong action to improve and to lead in this evolving area of the law and practice.”

Nick Anderson covers higher education for The Washington Post. He has been a writer and editor at The Post since 2005.
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