Stanford student from Juneau campaigning for better handling of sexual assaults

Leah Francis -- a former Juneau-Douglas High School distance running champion, according to KTOO radio -- is leading a charge against the way Stanford University handles allegations of rape after a fellow student who the university found had indeed sexually assaulted her received little more than a slap on the wrist. Through Stanford’s internal adjudication process, a panel recommended 40 hours of community work service, a sexual assault awareness class and a five-quarter suspension, according to university documents available on The Stanford Daily. Francis told KTOO that the suspension won’t take effect until summer, and the man will supposedly be able to graduate and return for grad school if he wishes. She’s been spreading her call for change through social media using the hashtag #StandWithLeah. On Thursday, Francis led hundreds of students in a rally and protest to raise awareness and demand change to the university’s policies, according to numerous national media outlets that have picked up the story. Francis told her hometown public radio station that a criminal case against her alleged rapist is being handled by the Juneau Police Department; the incident happened in Juneau on New Year’s Day. ​