A former Otterbein University theater professor is set to be arraigned next week after a student said he placed his hand inside the back of her pants at a performance last spring.
But Otterbein officials refused to release the incident report involving Ed Vaughan this week, maintaining that the private liberal-arts college in Westerville is exempt from the Ohio public-records act.
It’s a situation that is becoming increasingly common as more private colleges across the country assume greater control for policing on their campuses.
“If you’re going to be given a badge, a gun and the ability to shoot to kill, then you should have the same responsibility to report about the crimes that happen on campus as the state law-enforcement agencies elsewhere,” said Frank D. LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center in Arlington, Va.
But all too often, private college campuses are “islands of invisible crime” where even violent offenses such as aggravated assaults and sexual assaults are hidden from public view — posing a public-safety threat, he said.