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Allowing reports to be made anonymously is a system that is ripe for abuse. It is easily foreseeable that anonymous reports will be made out of jealousy or perhaps revenge for a broken up relationship. People should not be able to make serious anonymous accusations that have the potential to disrupt the life of a person alleged to have committed a crime. Anonymity allows people to levy false accusations with impunity.
Also, this bill places the reporting process in the wrong hands. As these offenses would be a violation of law, university administrative offices are not the appropriate repository for in such reports. These offenses should be reported to law enforcement as they are the ones who have the greatest ability to investigate and enforce the law. If the bill were limited only to public institutions collecting information of crimes on school grounds and requiring that the reports be made to law enforcement, and that anonymity would not be granted for demonstrably false accusations, we would withdraw our objection. As it currently stands, we oppose SB 968. We would withdraw our objection if the bill were amended to clarify that the right to anonymity would be withdrawn if it was later discovered that a person made a false or malicious report.
As a further addendum to our vote recommendation we note that we have spoken at length with the offices of the Senate author and House sponsor and we appreciate and understand that their intent is to make reporting of these crimes easier. Our hope is to see the bills move forward with the substance of their intent intact but with less room for negative unintended consequences.