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Three sex assault cases reported at Princeton

Three separate sexual assault cases were reported in the past week at Princeton University.

The unusually high number of sexual assaults reported in the short time span comes as the Ivy League school and other colleges are facing scrutiny for their handling of such cases.

One of the newly reported incidents occurred this weekend, while the other two cases involved incidents that happened earlier but authorities weren't notified until recently, according to the university's crime log.

The Department of Public Safety's crime log says the most recent case was reported to officials on Saturday and occurred sometime Friday at an off-campus location. Someone was fondled at an unidentified eating club, according to Martin Mbugua, a university spokesman.

On Friday, public safety officials received two reports of sexual assaults, the crime log says. One was reported to have occurred in the past month on Prospect Avenue, while the other was reported to have happened between September 2012 and August 2013 in an unknown dormitory.

In the dormitory case, the victim reported having been involved in sexual activity while incapacitated, officials said. The Prospect Avenue incident also involved an alleged fondling at an eating club.

The status for all three cases is listed as "open investigation" in the university's crime log, but Mbugua said in an email that any investigation "would depend on the individual's preference" and "at this time there is no active investigation."

This fall, U.S. Department of Education officials said Princeton had committed Title IX violations by not "promptly and equitably" responding to sexual-violence complaints.

The university reached an agreement with federal officials to revise its policies. Other top universities have reached similar settlements in recent years amid increasing attention on how colleges respond to reports of sexual violence.

Earlier this year, the White House launched a task force on the issue and the Education Department disclosed that it was investigating dozens of schools -- including Swarthmore College, Temple University and Penn State -- for their handling of cases.

The issue has gained even more prominence in recent weeks, after the publication of a high-profile Rolling Stone article about a brutal rape at the University of Virginia. Since the story was published, however, further questions have emerged about the incident and the magazine's reporting.

In New Jersey, the General Assembly on Monday passed a bill that could lead to fines for higher education institutions that don't properly investigate sexual-assault allegations.