Sexual assault gained attention on the campus in 2014 when a student, Lena Sclove, went public with allegations that a male student had raped her and that the university had botched its investigation of the incident, only handing down a one-year suspension to the accused student. Ms. Sclove and the organization Legal Momentum filed a federal complaint against Brown.
Students have protested the institution’s handling of sexual assault.
In 2015, an unnamed student sued the university in federal court, alleging it violated his due-process rights and discriminated against him because of his gender in suspending him for two and a half years after he was accused of assault, The Providence Journal reported. In February 2016, a federal judge ruled that the lawsuit could proceed, and the following August, the judge ruled that Brown could not enforce the student's suspension while the case was pending, a decision that sparked controversy. In September 2016, the judge decided in favor of the student, finding that the university's disciplinary process was improperly applied.
Brown has affirmed its commitment to victims of sexual assault, collected resources online, and said it would cooperate fully with the investigation.