Prosecutors in Cook County rarely file felony charges against students accused of sexual violence on college campuses, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The paper analyzed 16 Chicago-area colleges where police investigated 109 reported sex crimes since 2005. Of those, 12 resulted in arrests and five in convictions.
In several cases, what appeared to be felony rape cases were downgraded to misdemeanors.
Advocates for victims said downgrading sex offenses is insulting to victims.
A spokeswoman Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez defended the office's handling of the cases. Prosecutors carefully review each case, spokeswoman Sally Daly said.
Earlier this year, the office began looking closer at misdemeanor cases to see if they should be upgraded to felonies, Daly said, adding that these types of cases are are among the most challenging to effectively prosecute.