Commonly Asked Questions

What happens if I report the sexual assault to a police authority, and I donít want to press charges?

To preserve the option of pursuing criminal prosecution, we encourage you to report the sexual assault to the police. Once reported to the police, the incident will be investigated; evidence will be collected and tested; and the prosecutor will determine if there is enough probable cause to pursue criminal prosecution. Although you may not choose to press charges, ultimately the decision is left to the prosecutor.

Will this incident become public information?

Once a report of a sexual assault is made, the university may be obligated to report the campus community of the report. The university is obligated to alert the campus of crimes determined to be a threat to members of the campus community. Regardless of the action taken by the university, names of those involved will not appear on a campus alert.

In what situations will my parents be notified?

In most situations, a person who is sexually assaulted has the right to decide if their parent/guardian is notified unless they are unable to give consent to necessary medical treatment or if they are under the age of 18.

In the state of Ohio, at what age can a person give consent to sexual conduct or sexual contact?

Ohio law states that 16 is the age of consent for sexual contact. However, based on age differential and other factors, sexual conduct/contact with 16- and 17-year olds may be prosecutable. Eighteen is the legal age for adult consent for all matters.

If I donít feel safe, what can the university do for me?

A university representative will work with you to identify options that will help you feel safe Ė for example, identifying alternative living arrangements, parking and transportation issues, and/or academic/social concerns. Typically, the University Office of Student Affairs coordinates these efforts. However, representatives from other on-campus resources can also assist you. Case Police provide walking or riding escorts in the University Circle area 24 hours a day. Reporting any unusual or suspicious activity to Case Police immediately helps the university maintain your safety.

What will happen to an accused person if I report a sexual assault to a police authority?

Typically, if you positively identify a suspect, that person will be arrested by the police for the crime you described, or an arrest warrant will be issued. If you cannot identify a suspect, an investigation into the identity of the suspect will take place. Police will investigate the case and present their findings to the prosecutor. If the prosecutor feels there is enough evidence, he/she will refer the case to the Grand Jury. If the Grand Jury finds sufficient evidence, the suspect will be indicted, and a county arrest warrant will be issued for his/her arrest. After the arrest is made, the suspect may be issued a bond. If the arrested person canít afford to pay their bond, he/she will remain in jail until trial. If requested, the victim may be issued a restraining order, or some form of protection order forbidding the suspect from making contact or being in the vicinity of the victim.

What will happen if I report the incident to the university?

You will be contacted by an Associate Vice President for Student Affairs who will work with you to determine what course of action you want to pursue.

Can I file a charge with both the university and the public legal system?

Yes. The processes are independent of each other, however. If a case is processed in the public legal system, university may be subpoenaed and used in a court of law.



Sources:

Ohio Criminal Code 2003 - Anderson Publishing
Findlaw for Legal Professionals