Law and Criminal Justice

Purdue University

 

A former Purdue University student is suing the school and several of its officials for what he calls reverse discrimination during a sexual assault investigation.

He's the second student to sue an Indiana college claiming the application of federal Title IX legislation is biased against men.

The unnamed male student, referred to in court documents only as “John Doe,” says he was suspended as a student and dismissed from the Navy ROTC program after an unnamed female student accused him of groping her while she was asleep during the Fall 2015 semester.

Photo courtesy Lafayette Police Department

A new bill offered in the Indiana legislature would levy harsher penalties for crimes against public safety officials. It also strengthens penalties for crimes against their relatives.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Earlier this year, a state law mandated that a police department could not charge more than $150 for a copy of police body camera footage. The question now: Is $150 a fair price or might it have a cooling effect on people seeking video? WBAA’s Charlotte Tuggle reports. 

Police departments across Indiana are grappling with the cost of body-worn camera technology.

Some have quit the process altogether, saying the expense is too great for their department – even if they can recoup $150 every time someone asks for footage.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Despite various reports of police officer shortages around the country, Indiana seems to be taking less of a hit than other states. But those numbers may be misleading.

The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) uses an interactive video during the last week of training for prospective officers.

Officers – and even the occasional journalist -- are faced with situations that may require firing a weapon and must decide what to do. And since it’s part of firearms training, the main decision is whether to shoot.

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4716903349

The city council in the Daviess County town of Washington is considering expanding the scope of who may issue citations for some ordinance violations.  

Currently, only police officers can issue citations for violating city rules. But that could change.

The proposal would allow the fire department, building commissioner, and animal control officers to hand out violations.

Washington Common Council Member Michael Singleton says the city noticed some police officers were spending a majority of their time on citations.  

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from its original form to include an interview with the lawyer for the accusers.

Purdue University officials and the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office do not plan any further sanctions against four football players accused of sexual assault following an off-campus party earlier this semester.

Purdue Vice President for Strategic Communications Julie Rosa declined a taped interview but issued a statement Wednesday saying the players had been suspended from the team and the investigation was ongoing.

Daniel Messel Will Appeal 80-Year Murder Verdict

Oct 31, 2016
Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/5932984588

The man convicted of murdering Indiana University student Hannah Wilson in 2015 has filed a notice asking the Indiana Court of Appeals to review his trial.

The appeal was filed on the same day Daniel Messel was formally charged with attempted rape in a 2012 case.

A judge sentenced him to 80 years in prison for Wilson's murder, but Messel is appealing both the conviction and the sentence.

East Chicago Housing Authority

A federal judge has stepped in to halt the East Chicago Housing Authority's policy of searching tenants' apartments without a warrant or prior notice.

Wednesday's injunction stems from an Indiana ACLU lawsuit in February, months before revelations about high levels of lead in a city housing complex.

ACLU attorney Jan Mensz says the Housing Authority put in its leases it could enter people's apartments without notice for routine inspections -- in theory, things like maintenance.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

This is a story about a house.

But first, some background on how this house, in Lafayette’s Columbian Park neighborhood, came to be this story’s main character.

In February, after months of citizen concern about a crime spike, Lafayette’s police chief held a press conference.

Pat Flannelly talked about the tools at his disposal – everything from squad cars to software.

Scott Davidson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/webhostingreview/

The Lafayette Police Department is working more closely with victims’ advocates to help connect people affected by domestic abuse with support and legal options. Historically, the advocate is summoned by a police officer, but recently, the department has been trying a new approach.

Norah Ashcraft, a YWCA employee who works with domestic violence victims, has had an office inside the Lafayette Police Department since 2015, helping people file protective orders against abusers and giving them information on topics such as counseling and transitional housing.

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