McDonnell, UVA President to Discuss Reporting Student Arrests

By Matthew Stabley
|  Friday, May 7, 2010  |  Updated 4:45 PM EDT
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Gov, UVA Prez to Discuss Reporting Student Arrests

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The University of Virginia's president wants to know when his students get in trouble with the law.

Following revelations about a homicide suspect's prior run-ins with the law, John T. Casteen III said he would like to see a law that would require police to contact colleges when their students are arrested. Gov. Bob McDonnell's office is planning a meeting between McDonnell and Casteen to discuss such a law, the Times Dispatch reported.

"The governor wants to study and fully consider every possible idea that could help prevent such a senseless crime from taking place in the future. He looks forward to hearing the president's insights and thoughts on the issue," [press secretary] Stacey Johnson said in an e-mail.

Such a law raises concerns about privacy and police accountability.

If a police department failed to notify a school about an arrest because it didn't know the suspect was a student, would there be consequences? What if a student lied about being a student? And what if the student was cleared of the charges?

Delegate David J. Toscano said privacy concerns could be worked out in the language of the law, but Delegate Robert B. Bell said privacy wouldn't be much of a concern because most students are 18 or older and their arrest records are open to the public, the Times Dispatch reported.

Virginia men's lacrosse player George Huguely is suspected in the death of Virginia women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love.

Police reports obtained by NBC News show Huguely got into a fight with his father aboard their yacht in 2008. When his father called police, Huguely jumped overboard into the Atlantic Ocean. A boater passing by saved him. Officers said Huguely was drunk at the time.

In 2007, Huguely was charged with possession of an alcoholic beverage by a minor.

In November 2008, he was arrested in Virginia for public intoxication and resisting arrest. He reportedly threatened to kill the arresting officer.

The university has a policy requiring students to self-report their criminal violations to the school, but Huguely failed to do so the Times Dispatch reported.

University officials told the Times Dispatch if they had known about the November 2008 arrest, they might have been able to intervene.

A spokesman for McDonnell said the governer is scheduled to meet Casteen Tuesday at the governor's mansion, the Associated Press reported.
 

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