Roxbury Community College releases crime data

Roxbury Community College released a lengthy document Monday detailing what it said were all serious allegations of crime reported to the school in 2011, as well as many allegations from 2010 and 2009 that it had previously failed to include in statistics provided to the federal government.

The document is the first of its kind the school has released in years. A recent internal audit found that the college did not publish such a document regularly, though all schools that receive financial aid from the US Department of Education are mandated under the federal Clery Act to do so annually on or before Oct. 1.

Before this year, RCC’s website simply included a link to a searchable crime reporting site run by the US Department of Education. Data it provided for that site consisted almost entirely of zeroes.

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The new document fills in many of those blanks with data that RCC apparently did not previously report.

For instance, the document lists eight allegations of robbery and four allegations of motor vehicle theft for 2009. For 2010, the document lists 10 allegations of robbery, eight of aggravated assault, 17 of burglary, and two of motor vehicle theft. Among those, only two of the assault allegations from 2010 had been reported on the Education Department’s website.

Bunker Hill Community College, the only other two-year public college in Boston, reported lower crime statistics in those categories for 2009 and 2010.

But S. Daniel Carter, one of the nation’s leading Clery Act experts, cautioned that comparing Clery Act data from peer schools can be misleading, because each college may handle crime reporting slightly differently.

A recent Globe investigation found that RCC had not reported any sex offenses to the federal government in the past decade, even though students and others complained to administrators that they had been victims of sex crimes over that time.

The new document, however, lists six recent allegations of sex offenses on campus. They include one “nonforcible” offense in 2009 and one forcible offense in 2010, as well as two nonforcible and two forcible offenses in 2011. Only the latter four were reported on time.

No information is provided on the circumstances surrounding each allegation.

However, it is likely that the 2010 forcible sex offense involves a student who complained repeatedly and in writing that an RCC professor and administrator had sexually assaulted her. That case was covered at length in a recent Globe article.

Internal documents from RCC suggest that the question of what to report in the new document has been debated in detail by administrators in recent months.

For instance, the Globe has obtained a long, recent memo written by the school’s former security chief, Thomas Galvin, advising administrators that this year he planned to provide the federal government information related to several sex-
offense allegations that had not been previously disclosed.

Galvin has since been fired, but the college’s new statistics appear to include some of the allegations listed in his memo.

The college has not yet replaced Galvin, although over the summer it sought the help of a respected private consulting firm, Visium Global, in compiling its new report.

The document is unusually thorough and 44 pages long, on the level of what a large university might publish, said Carter.

“There are a few, minor rough edges, but overall this is a top-flight Clery report,” he said. “They got the job done.”

The document is much longer than analogous reports produced by the state’s other 14 community colleges.

North Shore Community College, for instance, posted its 12-page Clery Act report last week.

Bunker Hill also released its report online last week, as did Springfield Technical Community College and Mass Bay Community College.

While all those schools published their reports early, RCC waited until less than six hours before the federal deadline, midnight Monday, to release its document and notify students and staff.

Reports for most of the state’s other community colleges were relatively easy to find on those schools’ websites by midday Monday.

Other local schools — includng Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst — had also posted their reports online.

Although all colleges were required to publish their campuswide reports Monday, with no exceptions or extensions, they have another two weeks or so to submit their updated information to the federal government, which should incorporate it into the Education Department’s searchable website by early November.