Failing to report allegations of sexual assault on campus could be costly for New Jersey colleges.
Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora would fine higher-education institutions $10,000 for not taking appropriate action in response to a sexual assault complaint.
“We need to send the college a strong message that when they hear such allegations they should immediately report them to the police so that they are properly investigated,” said Gusciora, D-Mercer.
The bill advanced by an Assembly committee could be amended to increase the penalty to $50,000.
Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin questioned how effective — and costly — that approach might be. She said assessing such fines might increase the college tuition.
“One thing I would wonder is where’s the money going to go and is that penalizing the students who already can’t afford to go to college?” said Pinkin, D-Middlesex.
Gusciora suggested the fines could be directed to a sexual assault-prevention program.