Title IX Regulations — College Lawyers Don’t Represent the Interests of Students

Last fall, I submitted comments to the Department of Education regarding Secretary DeVos’ proposed changes to the Title IX regulations. I submitted them in my role as a locally elected official and former federal agency chief counsel.

I recommend that the Department of Education work with the Department of Justice to prosecute campus rapes instead of creating a new adjudicatory process.

Additionally, students who are survivors of sexual assault should not rely on school lawyers to represent their interests. School lawyers represent the interests of school leaders and students should call law enforcement for assistance.

Lastly, students and their parents have positional power to demand that colleges track the prosecution rate of campus sexual assaults and I strongly recommend that they use it.

The comments I submitted to DOE can be found below.

Comment on FR Doct #2018–25314

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is K. Denise Rucker Krepp and I’m submitting the following recommendations in my role as a locally elected Washington, DC official and former federal agency chief counsel. I’ve also been a member of the sexual assault community for 25 years.

Prosecution

Instead of creating an additional judicial system, the US Department of Education (DOE) should work with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and local law enforcement to prosecute sexual assaults that occur on colleges and universities.

In early 2016, I sued DOJ for prosecution data related to violent crimes occurring in Washington, DC. The case was settled after DOJ provided the requested information.

The DOJ data showed that less than 15% of sexual assaults occurring on Washington, DC campuses are prosecuted. Similar numbers can be found around the country and I encourage DOE to work with DOJ to increase the prosecute rate. Only law enforcement action results in jail time.

Who is the client

As the Maritime Administration Chief Counsel, I was responsible for providing legal guidance for the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. I was an Obama Administration political appointee and Secretary Ray LaHood fired me in 2011 after I requested a Department of Transportation Inspector General investigation into sexual assaults at the school.

I requested the investigation because students were being hurt. Secretary LaHood disagreed with this assessment and told the IG not to complete the investigation.

I’m sharing this story because it’s crucial for students and parents to understand that school lawyers do not represent their interests, and based on my experience, neither the accuser nor the accused should rely on school lawyers or school employees to adjudicate sexual assault allegations. These individuals are biased and I recommend contacting law enforcement and seeking assistance from local prosecutors.

Use your voice

As I’ve shared with students at The George Washington University and parents living on Capitol Hill, students and parents have the positional power to change how colleges and universities address sexual assault.

They can demand that institutions of higher education track prosecution rates as part of the annual Clery Act report. https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/making-noise-key-breaking-down-institutional-silence-sexual-assault.

They can use campus tours as a #MeToo Agent of Change. https://thehillishome.com/2018/04/college-tour-metoo-agent-change/.

Staying quiet isnt the solution and I encourage everyone to talk.

K. Denise Rucker Krepp
Locally elected Washington DC official and former Maritime Administration Chief Counsel

Homeland security, transportation, and sexual violence expert. Coastie. Former MARAD Chief Counsel. MST & transparency advocate. ANC6B10 Commissioner. Mom

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K. Denise Rucker Krepp

K. Denise Rucker Krepp

Homeland security, transportation, and sexual violence expert. Coastie. Former MARAD Chief Counsel. MST & transparency advocate. ANC6B10 Commissioner. Mom