Police, Vanderbilt tight-lipped about sex crime investigation - WKRN News 2

Police, Vanderbilt tight-lipped about sex crime investigation

Posted: Updated: July 8, 2013 04:10 PM

Did Vanderbilt police delay a sexual assault investigation allegedly involving a co-ed and members of the university's football team?

It's been two weeks since the alleged incident happened in an on-campus dorm and still not much is publicly known.

Nashville's News 2 first broke the story reporting that four football players were dismissed from the team and suspended from the university late last month.

The players have yet to be named or charged.

There is a document called the Memorandum of Understanding.  It's a contract between Metro Nashville police and Vanderbilt University police.  It was signed in 2000 between ranking members of both departments and essentially outlines how the two police forces act when serious crimes take place on or around campus.

The document was signed by then-police chief Emmett Turner and vice chancellor Lauren Brisky.

According to the memorandum, "Metro police will be notified immediately of any homicide, kidnapping, rape or sexual assault…" and "Metro police will assume responsibility for the continued investigation on any of the enumerated offenses."

According to a Metro police release, the alleged sexual assault took place on Sunday, June 23.  Metro sex crimes detectives weren't notified by Vanderbilt police until Wednesday June 26, three days later.

The question is why?

Either Vanderbilt police didn't learn of the alleged assault until Wednesday, or the department didn't report the alleged assault until Wednesday.

Metro police will only say that the moment they were notified of the alleged sexual assault they began actively working the case; interviewing suspects, collecting evidence, coordinating with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab and consulting with the district attorney's office.

Princine Lewis with Vanderbilt's public information office would only issue a statement that says, "We do not have any further statements to offer nor are we offering on-camera interviews at this point."

Officials with the TBI declined to comment on when evidence was submitted to its agency.

A spokesperson for the Nashville district attorney's office says the investigation is not yet complete and it is premature to say if it will be presented to a grand jury.

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