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2 Missouri bills aim to protect students accused of sex assault

2 Missouri bills aim to protect students accused of sex assault

January 30th, 2019 by Associated Press in Missouri News

The Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City is shown here on Feb. 21, 2018. Phase 2 of construction on the Capitol was set to begin in March 2018.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Republican lawmakers are proposing an overhaul of how Missouri universities handle sexual harassment and assault claims to add more protections for the accused.

The Kansas City Star reports that two measures in the Missouri House and Senate include provisions that give more power to those accused under Title IX, the federal law that bars gender-based discrimination in schools that receive federal money.

Both bills would borrow judges to hear appeals from students punished for sexual misconduct. The proposals would also allow a student to sue a university if they are not afforded due process.

The measures dovetail with major Title IX changes under review by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Wendy Murphy of New England Law Boston says the Missouri proposals would further victimize women in a system that already favors the accused.