Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax, the Virginia state Senate Minority Leader, has began to draft legislation to hold state college and university officials accountable for reporting sexual assault to the authorities, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The legislation is a result of Saslaw’s outrage over the report of an alleged gang rape in 2012 at the University of Virginia. Under this measure, a state employee at a higher education institution would have 24 hours to contact local police after being informed that a sexual assault had taken place. Failure to comply with this would result in up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
“This has got to stop,” said Saslaw, continuing “Those people at U.Va. have no business adjudicating a felony, for God’s sake.” This was one statement in a bigger tirade Saslaw gave at the Falls Church City Council on the event.
Saslaw’s own daughter is an alumni of U. Va., and he said that he had never been more angry than he was after he read the Rolling Stone article that described the rape allegations at the university.
“It didn’t surprise me because this has been going on forever and I got to tell you-I’ve been hearing this crap-and that’s what it is-from U.Va. for the last 40 years,” proclaimed Saslaw. “Let us handle it. We know how to do it. Don’t make us-you know, don’t require us to report this, the women won’t come in.”
Saslaw also claimed that his daughter has consistently told him that women know “the university’s total dedication to sweeping…everything under the rug,” and as a result rarely come forward when they have been sexually assaulted.
Saslaw is hopeful for the success of the bill and stated: “If I can get that thing to the governor, things are going to change.”