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Audit Finds Two Bay Area Universities Provided Inaccurate Crime Stats

SONOMA (CBS SF/AP) — Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University were among four California universities that failed to submit accurate or complete crime statistics as required by federal law, according to a state audit whose findings were released Thursday.

The other two institutions were the University of California, Irvine, San Joaquin Delta College. The audit found each had inaccurate or incomplete information to varying degrees.

Sonoma State notably did not report a sexual assault in 2019 because it did not follow up with the police to determine the specific location of the incident even though it was aware that the incident had occurred on university property, according to the report. The sexual assault was alleged to have occurred in a dorm room.

State Auditor Elaine Howle stated in the report that "this incident is especially troubling" because the determination that this was not worth including in its crime statistics meant that Sonoma did not consider issuing a timely warning to its campus community as required by federal law.

Sonoma and Santa Clara, the audit found, also did not maintain accurate daily crime logs, something considered to be critical to informing the public about the safety of each campus and is required under the Clery Act.

Howle stated in the report that because of these problems, the public is not getting the full, accurate picture of how safe a campus is.

Howle recommended the institutions take steps to comply with federal law. Sonoma said it was implementing changes to make improvements.

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