Columbia, MO -- The Chancellor of the University of Missouri has issued a response to the report issued by the law firm Dowd Bennett regarding how the University handled a sexual assault allegation by a former student-athlete who later committed suicide.
R. Bowen Loftin says he accepts the findings which conclude that, though there was no intentional mishandling of the allegation by then-Missouri swimmer Sasha Menu Courey, the University did not follow proper Title IX guidelines in reporting the alleged assault to the campus Title IX coordinator.
Title IX guidelines were established by the Office of Civil Rights to advise agencies receiving federal funding how to protect against gender discrimination. The Dowd Bennett report also concluded that the University had not done enough to educate the staff on legal responsibilities as it relates to Title IX compliance.
Loftin says the safety, security and health of the students are the most important priorities. The Chancellor also expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of Menu Courey saying "Although nothing will bring her back, we can move forward and honor her memory by making sure that MU is accountable and responsible.
Loftin says the University is implementing the plan put forth by President Timothy Wolfe who has directed all four campuses to conduct a comprehensive review of all sexual assault and mental health resources available to students, staff and faculty and then to re-educate them about those resources.
In addition, each campus was tasked with reviewing all policies, procedures and training as it relates to sexual assault and mental health. He says that they are also examining the Office of Student Conduct and how cases involving sexual assault are addressed.
Athletic Director Mike Alden has also created a task force to examine how his department handles student incidents and concerns.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Some Missouri lawmakers want the state to open an economic development office in Israel. A spending plan embraced by a Senate committee would insert $200,000 into the next state budget to open an office in Israel.
The Senate and House have each passed bills that would require the Department of Economic Development to establish an office in Israel. The office would be focused on developing partnerships between Missouri and Israeli businesses in agriculture, biotechnology and other emerging fields.
Missouri already has economic development offices in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) - Authorities have identified the woman whose body was found floating in a pond near a west St. Louis County apartment complex.
The victim was 71-year-old Manorma Dua, who lived nearby. An autopsy indicated that drowning was the likely cause of death, and police say there were no signs of foul play. St. Louis County detectives suspect suicide.
A passerby crossing a walking bridge Monday morning saw the body in the pond. The apartment complex is in an unincorporated area, near the town of Ballwin.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Men who prowl the streets of St. Louis for prostitutes can expect a brightly colored postcard in the mail - from police.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that in an effort to curb prostitution, police are targeting, and perhaps humiliating, the "johns" who use the services. The postcards mailed to the homes of those charged with trying to pick up prostitutes will offer a reminder about spreading sexually transmitted diseases, along with listing the court date.
In addition, police say they plan to routinely provide local news media with mug shots of those charged with prostitution crimes to dissuade them from trying it again.
Solicitation is an ordinance violation carrying a penalty often no harsher than a fine. Police hope the postcards are an attention-grabber that deters johns. They are rolling out the program this week in two neighborhoods where residents have complained of prostitution.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois man is set to be sentenced after he was convicted of first-degree murder last month for the deaths of a pregnant woman and a 4-year-old child.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports 57-year-old Kevin Reid's sentencing hearing was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon in Madison County.
Reid was found guilty last month in the 2005 deaths of 19-year-old Anquiaette Parker and her four-year-old cousin, Cermen Toney Jr. Parker was pregnant and had been babysitting Toney when the two disappeared.
Authorities say Reid then hid their bodies in a cistern near his home. Their bodies were found in 2008 by a crew clearing brush in the area.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri man has admitted that he owned hundreds of images of child pornography.
Fifty-three-year-old James Harrison of West Plains pleaded guilty Monday to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Prosecutors say they found 474 child pornography videos and 560 images of child pornography on Harrison's computers and digital media at his home.
The U.S. Attorney's office says in a news release that the victims ranged in age from 3 to 13 or 14.
Harrison faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, with the possibility of 20 years, plus a fine up to $250,000. No sentencing date has been set.
No charges will be filed against a semi driver who struck and killed a man along Interstate 270 early Tuesday morning. Police say the driver stopped immediately and cooperated with authorities.
I nvestigators say the truck driver couldn't have avoided hitting the man. The victim had been walking across the westbound lanes of 270 in Florissant about 2:30 a.m. when he was hit.
The victim's name has not been released. Police say they aren't sure why the man was walking on the interstate.
The accident shut down all westbound lanes for several hours. All but one lane had reopened by 7 a.m.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis police are investigating after a man was found dead inside a car near Soulard Market.
The body was found about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. The victim's name has not been released.
Homicide detectives are calling the death suspicious. Authorities have not released any further details.