Students walk on campus near a sign from the San Diego State University police in the College Area on September 12, 2022.
Students walk on campus near a sign from the San Diego State University police in the College Area on September 12, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

After completing its review of the evidence in a high-profile rape case involving former San Diego State University football players, the San Diego District Attorney has decided not to file criminal charges. 

In October 2021, a 17-year-old girl told friends and police that she’d been sexually assaulted for 90 minutes while in and out of consciousness, and left bloodied and bruised at a home in the College Area. 

In a statement, prosecutors said they reviewed dozens of taped witness interviews, DNA evidence and more, including forensic evidence from cell phones and video evidence of the incident, and couldn’t find a path to potential criminal conviction. 

The Union-Tribune reports that the decision not to prosecute marks a pivotal moment in one of the most watched criminal cases in the county. The Buffalo Bills cut Matt Araiza two days after his name appeared in a separate civil lawsuit. The two other men named in the lawsuit are no longer playing for the Aztecs. 

The civil case is ongoing.

SDSU’s administrative inquiry is also still under way. The university came under fire over the summer — when the Los Angeles Times broke the story — for keeping silent about the allegations and agreeing to delay its internal investigation at the request of police. Two months ago, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña took a closer look at the administrative process and reported that the rules underlying these types of investigations can stonewall complex cases.

The Learning Curve: Why Community College Officials Want a New California Master Plan for Higher Education

Students listen to Professor David Kennemer during a cyber security class at San Diego City College on Nov. 29, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

As California community college officials spar over new proposed bachelor’s degrees enabled by a 2021 law, there’s a growing call to overhaul California’s Master Plan for Higher Education. 

The master plan, which was adopted in 1960, outlines which public institutions of higher learning can offer what. For many years, that’s meant UCs have had exclusivity over doctorates, CSUs have been limited to bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and community colleges have stuck to lower division classes, two-year degrees and workforce certifications.

But those distinctions have become increasingly blurry as CSUs have begun to offer doctorates, and community colleges have moved into bachelor’s degrees. And many community colleges feel that the strict distinctions of the past have limited their students’ ability to access four-year degrees. They feel a new master plan is needed — one that speaks to the needs of California in the 21st Century. 

And they’re not alone. A comprehensive report created by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research concluded that given the momentous changes in California, education and technology since 1960, the master plan is being asked to do things for which it wasn’t designed. 

“A clear conception of the goals for higher education and life-long learning (in) the 21st century is needed to ensure that new policies and approaches will strengthen our institutions and benefit Californians for decades to come,” reads the final line of the report. 

Read more in the latest Learning Curve.

Local Homelessness Outreach Workers Don’t Make Enough to Afford to Live in San Diego

The Union-Tribune reported that the early findings from a recent city-commissioned study shows that San Diego’s homeless outreach workers are paid less than those in many other cities with high costs of living, and much less than is needed to pay for basic expenses. 

According to the study, which was presented at a recent conference put on by the Regional Task Force on Homelessness, the pay for San Diego’s homelessness outreach workers ranked 14 out of the 18 cities it compared. That amounted to only 60 percent of what workers need to afford to live in those cities, based on MIT’s cost-of-living indicator.

The low-pay of homelessness outreach workers, which ranged from around $36,000 to around $54,000, is a problem the city has been aware of for some time. In February, Mayor Todd Gloria acknowledged that low pay while calling for the expansion of a City College certificate program that trains students to work in the homelessness sector. He also said new career pathways needed to be developed that allowed workers in those sectors to advance to higher-paying roles in the field.

“This is extremely difficult (work), both from a physical and emotional mental perspective,” Gloria said at a February press conference. “You’re interacting with very, very challenged individuals and these are not always the highest paid jobs.” 

But with homelessness seemingly as bad as it’s ever been – especially in areas like downtown – and showing no signs of getting better, the need for workers in that sector is also unlikely to slow down.

In Other News

  • Dozens of tenants across Hillcrest, Normal Heights and North Park are being evicted and told they have to move just a week and a half before Christmas, as Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council President Sean Elo-Rivera push for new tenant protections. (NBC 7)
  • The U-T reports that water rates could surge by nearly 18 percent over next two years in San Diego. A new analysis says ratepayers may need to throw down more money for the Pure Water sewage recycling system and other projects. 
  • A biofuel company in Barrio Logan says it has finished installing an odor-reducing system. Nearby residents, who complained the fumes were making them sick, say they’re concerned the stench will return. (CBS 8) 
  • KPBS profiled a Russian family torn apart by war and blocked from being reunited in San Diego because of U.S. asylum rules at the border. 

The Morning Report was written by Jesse Marx and Jakob McWhinney. It was edited by Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

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