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Notre Dame: Seeberg, New Victim Reported Rapes

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By Jason Beahm on February 22, 2011 9:10 AM

Notre Dame is under fire amid at least two accusations of improper handling of sexual assault cases after a student accused a Notre Dame football player of rape before committing suicide. Elizabeth Seeberg, killed herself just nine days after making a police report of a sexual assault.

According to Education Department, the inquiry concerns how the historic university designed its policies to respond to complaints of sexual harassment, the Chicago Tribune reports. University spokesman Dennis Brown said the inquiry is not related to a specific case.

But there are plenty of people who are unhappy with Notre Dame's response to rape cases. Families of two St. Mary's College students say Notre Dame did not adequately handle cases involving assaults on their daughters. The families say campus police delayed investigating her report of a Notre Dame student sexually assaulting her, the Chicago Tribune reports. They argue that the university is more interested in protecting its image than stopping abuse.

Sexual assault is the crime of sexually touching someone in a way that is unwanted and offensive. Sexual assault can includes child sexual abuse, rape, attempted rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene behavior directed at another person, fondling, molesting, sexual harassment and other unwanted deviate sexual acts. It is a serious crime that can land those convicted of it both time in prison and a sex offender label.

"I'm involved in this because I love Notre Dame and I don't want to see this happen again," the father of a student that was allegedly sexually assaulted said. "Notre Dame has done so much good over the years, but I think there's an issue that needs to be corrected."

The Notre Dame Seeberg case, along with the second sexual assault allegation, appear to be far from over.

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