Sexual assault policy changes are likely for Oklahoma State University, regents chairman says

by Silas Allen Published: January 9, 2013
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Attorney is hired to assist

Although variables in each case could cause drastically different outcomes, a similar review into a sexual misconduct case at the University of Iowa took about three months to resolve, said James Sears Bryant, a Dallas-based attorney hired to assist the OSU board during the review.

In 2008, Bryant led an independent investigation into a sexual misconduct case at the University of Iowa, where a female student reported being sexually assaulted by two University of Iowa football players. The woman later was subject to intimidation and retaliation by other student athletes. In the investigation, Bryant reported the university failed to adequately protect the woman from retaliation.

One key difference is that the OSU board had assembled the task force before the allegations surfaced. That wasn't the case at the University of Iowa, he said.

“I think OSU and the regents were ahead of the curve by having this task force in place since the summer and proactively taking a look at the issues and the policies,” he said.

Lester said he didn't learn of the reported sexual assaults until accounts of them appeared in the media. Although he called the alleged sexual assaults “disturbing,” he said he will reserve judgment about OSU's handling of the case until after the review has concluded.

“I have not come to any judgment about whether Oklahoma State officials acted properly or not,” he said. “I certainly hope the answer is yes, but I don't know.


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by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
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