WHAT IF I AM ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT BOTH BY MY COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY AS WELL AS THE POLICE AND PROSECUTORS?
Managing dual investigations -often referred to as parallel proceedings – is an extremely complex and difficult process. You should make any decisions in such situations without the aid of experienced criminal defense attorneys who also can defend you against campus proceedings. Both your academic/professional future and your liberty is at stake.
PROTECT YOUR FUTURE WITH STRONG REPRESENTATION
A college or university must investigate and resolve allegations of sexual assault under their federal law obligations. Their processes and decisions will result in life changing consequences for you if you are found responsible of sexual misconduct. Even before a decision is reached, you could be forced out of your dorm or asked to withdraw from classes.
If you are suspended or expelled, that information is branded on your permanent transcript giving prospective employers down the line strong reasons not to hire you. A simple internet search may often bring up new articles and accusations of your guilt. If you have been accused of any act of sexual violence (including sexual assault, rape or sexual harassment) at a college or university you should take this very seriously. Immediately seek out a seasoned lawyer who knows the most recent rules and regulations regarding sexual assault charges, and who has extensive previous experience working and supporting college students that have been charged with sexual assault.
It is no exaggeration to say that accusations of campus sexual assault jeopardize not only your academic future but your entire future career.
DEFINITIONS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT & OTHER FORMS OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Sexual misconduct is a broad term that includes such terms as “rape,” “sexual assault,” “sexual violence,” “sexual harassment,” “domestic violence,” “stalking,” and “intimate partner violence.” University Title IX policies and student conduct codes may include all of these potential terms as potential violations.
Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act, or attempt of any sexual act, against an individual through coercion or manipulation, and includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape and sexual abuse. Sexual violence is committed through coercion and/or manipulation, in which one individual exerts his or her power and control over another individual, taking away one’s autonomy of decision making as it regards any sexual act.
Sexual harassment is an all-encompassing term, marked by harassment of an individual through unwanted sexual advances, offensive sexual statements, jokes, observations, requests for sexual favors, and/or sexual gestures, which creates a hostile environment for the victim. At the heart of sexual harassment is the perpetrator’s manipulation of the victim, and the perpetrator’s ability to take the power of choice away from the victim. This is how sexual harassment creates a hostile environment, making it difficult for the victim to pursue his or her education, career, and pursuit of happiness effectively. Even the failure to respect another’s choices in gender identification and pronoun preference may result in allegations of sexual harassment and/or Title IX violations.
Sexual assault is defined as any sexual touching or contact that occurs without consent. Rape is a form of sexual assault. Sexual assault can occur through force, intimidation, manipulation, or because the victim cannot give consent.
Rape is defined as non-consensual sexual intercourse of penetration.
There are various types of rape. Below are a few which most closely relate to situations found on college campuses:
- Stranger Rape
- Partner Rape
- Acquaintance Rape
Stranger Rape is what comes to mind most often when we think of rape, because it is the form that is most perpetuated by the media. This type is where the victim and the assailant are complete strangers without any connection other than the assault itself. We see this in movies and on television, and it is this form that usually makes national headlines.
However, although this seems widespread, you may be surprised to know that this is the least common form of rape.
More often than not, sexaul assault is committed through Partner Rape or Acquaintance Rape.
Partner rape can be complex and sometimes hard to understand, because it is often ‘assumed’ that individuals in any form of relationship have ‘consented’ to being in that relationship, often ‘love’ each other, or are happy to engage in sexual activity, all of the time.
However, sexual assault and rape can happen between people in a relationship.
Just because two people are dating does not mean that they must have sex (or any sexual contact) all of the time, or any of the time at all. Dating does not equal sex. Because of this, if a partner does not want to have sex, and is coerced or manipulated into have sex, even if the two parties are in a relationship, this constitutes rape.
What is acquaintance rape?
Acquaintance rape is the most common form of rape, and does happen with alarming frequency on all college campuses. This form is a non-consensual sexual act between people who know each other, outside of the sexual act itself. This can include “date rape” – a sexual assault which occurs after a date between individuals. More simply, the assailant and the victim just know each other. This happens everywhere throughout the country, at every university.