Harringtons Favor Local Police Investigating College Crimes

By: Jessica Jaglois Email
By: Jessica Jaglois Email

September 5, 2011

From the steps of the John Paul Jones Arena, Gil Harrington spoke about a piece of legislation that she believes will help save other victims of sexual assault in a way she couldn't save her own daughter.

The mother of murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington addressed the media Thursday from the place where her daughter went missing nearly two years ago. She spoke passionately about a piece of legislation that aims at improving safety for women on college campuses.

Inspired by two instances of sexual violence that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia House Bill 2490, commonly referred to as Kathryn's Law, would require serious crimes that happen on college campuses to be investigated by local law enforcement rather than university/campus police.

Kathryn's Law was first introduced by Delegate Paula Miller (D-Norfolk) and is being pushed by Susan Russell, the mother of Kathryn Russell, a former University of Virginia student who claims she was raped and says her case was largely ignored by campus police.

Harrington says the bill would better protect young women by providing more investigative resources.

"Our precious young people deserve this protection and it will enhance safety on campuses in Virginia and hopefully we'll move forward from there as well," she said.

The bill also aims to prevent a potential conflict of interest wherein university police investigate crimes on their own campuses.

Kathryn's Law will go before the Virginia Crime Commission in November. While they wait for that hearing, Dan and Gil Harrington have also reached out to Vice President Joe Biden in an effort to make it a federal law.

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