• Sexual Assault and Misconduct
  • Report
  • Higher Ed

Review of Student-Perpetrator Sexual Assault Claims With Losses

Hillary Pettegrew, Esq.
April 2017

Why Read This

Higher education institutions face potential liability from alleged student victims of campus sexual assault and, increasingly, from alleged student perpetrators who challenge the internal disciplinary process. This publication examines UE's claims received from 2011 through 2015 that were brought by students who were accused of sexual assault and that resulted in monetary losses. It provides recommendations that were designed to help institutions ensure fair treatment of both parties and avoid or mitigate losses.

UE’s claims studies are snapshots of claims received in a defined time frame. This report addresses claims from 2011-2015. As a result, this report does not take into account the 2020 Title IX regulations issued by the Department of Education and contains references to, and recommendations based on, prior guidance in effect at the time of the study.


Key Takeaways

  • From 2011-15, the average loss per claim UE analyzed was more than $187,000 for perpetrators; defense costs in these claims were responsible for 71% of losses.
  • The severity of sanctions drove many perpetrators’ claims — nearly half were brought by a student who was expelled; a third of those claimants were seniors dismissed from school shortly before graduation.
  • Ensuring policies are clear and consistent helps institutions provide fair treatment of perpetrators and avoid or mitigate losses.

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