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com approached the University of Alabama in Huntsville about this story, the request was made by the school to submit questions via email. What follows are the two sets of questions from The Times and the answers from UAH. Part I Email responses from UAH on May 2 to questions presented by The Times on May 1: Based on the statement from UAHuntsville on April 2, what was the charge against Lasse Uusirvirta? What punishment was administered? Information regarding charges and punishment of student judicial cases is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The university holds to its policies to protect the rights and privacy of our students. Can you describe the university’s process upon which that punishment was determined and what was the timeline of that process? That process is described in our student handbook, which is online. http://www.uah.edu/student-support/student-conduct/handbook Did Uusirvirta finish classes in the spring 2013 semester? Protected by FERPA regulations. Can you describe university procedure on contacting outside law enforcement authorities for violent/sexual criminal incidents that occur on campus? The university is required to contact the appropriate federal authorities in the event of a federal crime. However, campus activities are policed by a staff of professional law enforcement officers. The UAH police have a very good working relationship with the Huntsville Police Department, but we are not required to contact local or state law enforcement in the event of criminal activity that may take place on campus. We also have other questions regarding this incident that we would like to discuss with the appropriate university officials. The university is not a party to the criminal case, and we are, therefore, not certain of the status of the case, and so decline further comment. Part II
On May 9, The Times and al.com submitted a follow-up set of questions along with a passage from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act relevant to the release of information regarding the charge and punishment Uusirvirta faced from the student conduct board. UAH responded on May 10.
We would again like to request information regarding the charge and the punishment against Lasse Uusirvirta. The rights and privacy of our students are of paramount importance to this university, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act does not mandate the public release of information of students enrolled on campuses across the nation. UAH has and will consistently protect personal information entrusted to us by our students. Were any outside law enforcement authorities contacted after the sexual assault was reported to UAH police? If none were contacted, what were the reasons? The U.S. Department of Education requires educational institutions to investigate incidents on campus that come to the attention of the university, even if an individual has not filed a complaint. We take all incidents very seriously and have a set of policies and procedures to manage such circumstances in a fair and consistent manner. These policies strictly adhere to state and federal guidelines. We have a very good working relationship with the Huntsville Police Department and they are available to us if we require assistance. Our police completed a thorough investigation of this incident and it was determined that assistance by other law enforcement agencies was not needed. At UAH is it common for allegations of criminal charges, including in cases like rape, to be handled through student discipline, rather than the court system? As mentioned above, all institutions of higher education are required by The U.S. Department of Education to investigate incidents that take place on their campus. Crime victims are provided reporting options as part of the process involving such incidents. We do not have the authority to prosecute individuals in criminal cases. If a complaint is filed and an arrest warrant is issued, it becomes a criminal matter, and the responsibility of the case is turned over to an agency that can then seek prosecution.