An LSU employee tasked with punishing students accused of sexual assault and rape at LSU allegedly dole out the "lowest possible sanctions," USA Today reported Wednesday.
Jonathan Sanders, LSU Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Advocacy and Accountability, imposed penalties that allowed students to continue their coursework "uninterrupted" instead of opting for more severe punishments in more than half of the Title IX cases reported to him over the past four years, USA Today reported. Sanders expelled one student over that time period.
According to USA Today, two female students said Sanders did not contact witnesses in their cases against a fraternity member who they reported for sexual assault in 2019. Another female student told USA Today that Sanders questioned her about the clothes she was wearing the night that a male student raped her while she was unconscious.
Sanders denied that he asked the student what she was wearing and defended the punishments he doled out, USA Today reported.
Sanders was not disciplined following the Husch Blackwell report that investigated the University's mishandling of Title IX reports. Interim President Thomas Galligan told USA Today that he was unsure if Sanders would continue to head LSU's accountability office.
"I would have to definitely – we will review that,” Galligan said. “I would say, though, that everyone is existing in a culture where signals from the top are not – and maybe not the president, I think the president did make statements about Title IX enforcement – but other messages from the top in various departments were not clear."