ELIZABETH CITY, NC (WAVY) - Elizabeth City State University could soon see itself being investigated by the Department of Education.
The university is required to send the federal government crime stats, but there were crimes omitted from a report. The Clery Act was created in 1990. It's a law that requires colleges and universities to make crime stats public.
WAVY.com looked into the reports ECSU sent to the Department of Education since 2007.
ECSU Police listed zero campus sexual assaults between 2007 and 2011. However, Elizabeth City Police tell WAVY.com they are investigating 18 campus sexual assaults since 2007.
WAVY.com asked ECSU officials if they were aware of the numbers that were reported to the Department of Education. They said that's why the university has hired a private security firm to come in and investigate.
Monday, ECSU announced Margolis Healy and Associates, an experienced firm specializing in campus safety and security, will conduct an independent review of ECSU's process for reporting crimes.
Elizabeth City Police say since 2007 there have been 125 reported crimes at Elizabeth City State that were never even investigated. According the crime stats, ESCU only listed around 100 crimes on the federal documents in the past six years.
The Department of Education says it has the power to investigate colleges that falsify records. It does so whenever it sees an anomaly in stats or if there is a formal complaint about against a university. If found guilty, it could cost the institution thousands of dollars. There could be a $35,000 fine for each crime not reported and the school could also lose federal funding.
In fact, Yale University was just fined $165,000 for failing to report four sex offenses in 2001 and 2002.
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