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Notre Dame under investigation for Title IX violation

| Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The University of Notre Dame is under investigation by the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) for possible Title IX violations pertaining to the University’s handling of sexual violence cases, University spokesman Dennis Brown said in an email Monday evening.

The OCR said today that it had opened the investigation on Feb. 19.

“The accused student in this matter is no longer enrolled at the university as of the spring semester of 2015, nearly a year before we learned of the OCR charge,” Brown said.

Notre Dame is one of 167 colleges and universities under investigation, according to a list released by the OCR.

The University had previously been under investigation for possible Title IX violations related to its handling of sexual assault cases in 2011, according to a letter sent in 2011 to University President Fr. Jenkins from the OCR. The OCR opened the investigation in December 2010, after the death of Saint Mary’s College first-year Lizzy Seeberg. Seeberg killed herself after reporting that she had been sexually assaulted by Prince Shembo, a Notre Dame football player.

The investigation was resolved on June 30, 2011 and Notre Dame agreed to make changes in its handling of sexual assault cases, according to the OCR resolution. The University agreed to educate students on the reporting process and the steps law enforcement will take after a report is filed, the resolution said. It also agreed to conclude Title IX investigations within 60 days of a complaint, the resolution said.

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