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Bill to protect victims of college violence clears state Assembly

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Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) 43rd District

State Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D) 43rd District

A  state bill, which would force colleges to report certain violent crimes to local authorities, cleared an important hurdle today. The California Assembly passed AB 1433 by an overwhelming vote of 74-0. The legislation, authored by local Assemblyman Mike Gatto, would require colleges  to report attacks like sexual assaults, particularly rape, and hate crimes to police, unless the victim asked that it not be reported to authorities.  Recently several California colleges, among them USC and Occidental College, have come under scrutiny for their handling of these type of cases.

“Victims of crime should not see their chances of justice hurt, nor should perpetrators be allowed to victimize others, because a school values its public image more than victims’ rights,”  said Gatto in a news release. “Simple communication between campus officials and local law enforcement will ensure greater community awareness and increased public safety.”

Also, the bill offers protection for those falsely accused of campus crimes.

“Crimes that occur on campus should not be treated any differently than those that occur elsewhere in our community,” Assemblyman Gatto stated.

The bill now moves on to the state Senate.

Gatto, a Democrat, represents several local communities including Burbank.

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