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Eastern Mich. Agrees to Pay $350K in Fines in Killing Case


Eastern Michigan University has agreed to pay $350,000 in fines for covering up the rape and killing of a student in her dorm room by telling reporters and her parents there were no signs of foul play.

The agreement sets the fines lower than the $357,500 proposed in December by the U.S. Department of Education. The fines, to be paid to the department, are for violating the federal Cleary Act, which requires schools to accurately disclose campus security information.

After 22-year-old Laura Dickinson’s body was found in December 2006, university officials told her parents and the news media that she died of asphyxiation but that there was no sign of foul play, despite evidence to the contrary.

Orange Taylor III, 21, was arrested in February 2007, convicted of the first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison.

The case led to the firing of university President John Fallon and the ouster of a vice president and a safety director.

The university also paid Dickinson’s family $2.5 million in a settlement.

Eastern Michigan officials say they have taken steps to prevent the situation from being repeated by increasing police patrols on campus, hiring a security firm and enhancing video surveillance.

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