At the March 13th meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6B, Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) confronted United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie K. Liu, asking Liu for a response to a letter of Feb. 8th requesting data on the number of campus sexual assaults reported and prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office (USAO).
Krepp has been pressuring District agencies on the matter of campus sexual assault since 2016. She moderated a panel on the topic at George Washington University (GWU) and wrote an opinion piece on the topic published by the Washington Post in December 2017.
In that letter, Krepp’s attorney noted that she Krepp had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain information on the reporting and prosecution of District sexual assault cases. The data was provided in December 2016. But at the January 2018 GWU panel on sexual assault moderated by Krepp, two panelists from the USAO Sex Offenses Section informed Krepp that her data was incorrect.
The letter requests that USAO-DC explain which data is incorrect and why, and provide Krepp with the correct data.
At the Tuesday meeting, Krepp asked Liu when she could expect a reply to that inquiry, or if further legal action would be necessary to obtain the correct data.
In response, Liu, who was appointed in September 2017, said that this was the first time she was seeing the letter, but would be happy to take a look at it. When Krepp asked when she could expect a response, Liu replied that she would take a look at it and her office would respond “whenever we can.”
Krepp said she found both the response and Liu’s lack of knowledge about the letter insufficient. “That is not an answer,” she said.
“To be blunt, the fact that you have not received this letter tells me this is not a priority for you, it’s not a priority for your staff,” Krepp said.
Liu assured Krepp that the USAO-DC would respond once she had looked at the letter.
First District Community Prosecutor Doug Klein said that at the Jan 2018 panel, representatives from the Sex Offence office explained that sex offense cases were reviewed by two independent senior prosecutors, saying that there were various reasons why cases were not prosecuted or dismissed, including evidence and cooperation or lack thereof from victims. He said that statistics did not necessarily reflect how cases are reviewed.
Krepp said she understood the response from the Attorney’s Office as a dismissal, saying she felt she was being “blown off.”
Chair Daniel Ridge (6B09) asked Krepp to make a point of indicating prior to the next meeting of the ANC 6B Executive Committee whether the Department of Justice had been responsive to the requests she had made at the March 13th meeting, to which Krepp agreed. That meeting is scheduled for March 27.
Klein said that the Attorney’s Office takes cases of violent crime and sexual assault seriously and said that the office would review and respond to the letter.