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U of U under investigation into how quickly they respond to reports of sexual assault

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Posted at 10:38 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 00:38:54-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah is under investigation into how promptly they respond to reports of sexual assault, the university confirmed Tuesday.

The investigation comes after Nisha Kavalam, a sexual assault victim, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

Kavalam reported she was sexually assaulted by another student at the university in February 2015.

After it took the school more than a year to find the man responsible guilty, Kavalam filed the complaint.

“The U will have to do a deep dive look at their own policies and practices as a result of this, things will only get better for the students on campus so I feel happy about it,” Kavalam told FOX 13 News in a phone interview Tuesday.

FOX 13 doesn't usually identify victims of sexual assaults, but Kavalam agreed to be identified.

If the investigation finds the school at fault, the university may have to pay a fine and prove it is making changes in how they investigate sexual assaults.

Maria O’Mara, spokeswoman for the university, released a statement regarding the investigation.

She said they will cooperate fully with the investigation and welcome investigators to campus in the fall.

O’Mara goes on to say the following:

“We care deeply about our students and about victims of sexual assault. It is critical to the university that our students feel comfortable reporting sexual assault through the university process, the criminal process or both. We know sexual assault is underreported, on our campus and around the country, so we are heartsick to learn that any student felt the process was difficult. We will continue to review and evaluate our procedures to make them more efficient and effective.”