What to Expect if You are Accused of Committing Sexual Assault

Any member of the university community who is accused of sexual assault may be subject to criminal charges and/or judicial action. University judicial action may occur whether or not criminal charges are filed. Three kinds of university disciplinary processes may apply, depending on the circumstances of the incident and the choice of the accuser. These are:

» Informal Grievance, conducted by the Office of Student Affairs;
» Administrative Hearing, conducted by a university judicial officer appointed by the Associate VP for Student Affairs;
» Judicial Board Hearing, conducted before the University Judicial Board.

Students accused of sexual assault are entitled to fairness no matter what disciplinary process is utilized. Students should contact the Office of Student Affairs for detailed information regarding the selected process.

If a Judicial Board Hearing occurs, procedural requirements are not as formal as those in civil courts of law. To ensure fairness in the Judicial Board Hearing, the following procedures apply:

  • Both the accused and accuser may have an individual of their choice present to give advice and support. This individual may only provide support and counsel to the student and may not actively participate in the hearing, unless clarification is needed, as determined by the hearing officer or panel.
  • All parties may request a submission of written factual accounts by witnesses and may request that the witnesses appear at the hearing.
  • An accused student may review any evidence that may be introduced prior to the hearing.
  • During the hearing, both the accused and accuser shall be given opportunity to testify and to present evidence. The accused and accuser shall be given opportunity to testify and to present evidence. The acused and accuser may direct questions to the witnesses through the Chair of the University Judicial Board.
  • Both the accused and accuser shall be provided with the hearing outcome of the decision by the hearing panel or hearing officer. If an accused student is found in violation and appeals the outcome, the accuser will be notified of the pending appeal and its final outcome.
  • Sanctions to be imposed upon students by the university are varied and depend upon the severity of the violation. Sanctions may include: disciplinary warning, disciplinary probation, disciplinary separation or expulsion. Additional educational sanctions include participation in workshops, as well as recommended counseling and community service.

When sanctions are imposed, consideration will be given to mitigating circumstances as well as aggravating factors, such as past misconduct by the accused student or failure of the accused student to fully comply with previous sanctioned conditions.

Resources for changing behavior and ending violence by men against women: