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State lawmakers dissatisfied with LSU's response to proof of its mishandling of abuse cases

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UPDATE: LSU released the unredacted police report from Samantha Brennan's complaint against Derrius Guice Friday. Read more here: https://www.wbrz.com/news/lsu-releases-unredacted-police-report-to-derrius-guice-accuser-who-sued-school-for-records-140735

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BATON ROUGE – LSU interim President Tom Galligan had to answer to lawmakers grilling him on how the university is going to improve its sexual assault reporting policies Wednesday.

Last week, a damning report showed LSU failed to report complaints in the past.

“We’ve already begun creating a new Office of Civil Rights and Title IX that will not report to general counsel. We are going to devote resources to hire sufficient folks to staff that office. We’re going to improve our training, and we’re going to be clearer in our responsibilities,” Galligan said.

Some lawmakers questioned whether enough disciplinary action was taken after the report was released. Two athletic administrators were suspended for mishandling complaints from female students.

“Consequences for not telling the truth is merely a suspension, and you get to come back on the job and maybe not tell the truth again,” Sen. Karen Carter Peterson said.

“If they don’t tell the truth again, they will be terminated," Galligan responded.

Sen. Beth Mizell voiced her dissatisfaction with LSU’s response.

“It’s like we’re all taking this seriously but the system is finding a way to protect the status quo,” Mizell said.

“There was not a clear line before of how reporting happened, who it went to. And it has confounded me how past administration and some current could overlook such specifics and conflict their employees as they did,” said Mary Werner, a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors. “We are trying to make a fresh start at LSU this week.”

Samantha Brennan, a former LSU student who shared her story of a football player taking a partially nude picture of her and showing it to others, flew in from out of state to talk to lawmakers.

”It's up to me and other women to speak about what happened so hopefully other 19, 20, 18-year-old girls don't have to go through this again,” Brennan said.

Brennan is grateful this discussion is continuing but disappointed in how her experience wasn't completely outlined in the Husch Blackwell report.

"It was very one-sided. It just pretty much made LSU look good, which is sad because the whole report is so bad. So if they would have put in all the stuff I gave them, it would have been much worse,” Brennan said.

At the end of the meeting, lawmakers asked university officials to reconsider punishment for employees who were involved in the mishandling of the reports. 

Other victims also talked to lawmakers at the meeting, which lasted eight hours.

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