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UWM journalism students want more transparency in sex assault accusations

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Posted at 9:50 PM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 23:17:10-05

MILWAUKEE — A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor is facing charges for sexual assault.

Anthony Azenabor was arrested last week after a former student came forward in January saying she was part of a PhD. program last spring when he allegedly forced her into non-consensual sexual contact and intercourse on campus. It is confusing and scary to the students he taught.

"We want to know what's going on," UWM junior Miranda Moen said.

That's also what a group of UWM journalism students want. They have been looking into accusations of harassment and sexual assaults on campus by faculty members.

A report they released last year found 40 UWM sexual assault or harassment reports had been made against 37 staff members. The university says 11 violations were found and nine ended in termination.

UWM journalism student Talis Shelbourne is concerned about the difficulty in getting details.

"We are not getting the information that we believe students deserve to know," Shelbourne said.

Court documents show professor Azenabor is accused of assaulting a student around the same time the journalism students were in the middle of their investigation. During that time, the university released some of the complaints against staff members.

"It could have been in the batch but his name was just redacted so we wouldn't have known," Shelbourne said.

Students warn not releasing data leaves others vulnerable.

"I want transparency for my fellow students," journalism student Marla Smith. "I want people to feel safe on this campus."

UWM said in a statement that university police have been working closely with the district attorneys office and they encourage students who believe they have been victimized to come forward and report it to police.