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Spring
2018
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Make a Report About Sexual Harassment

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Students who have experienced sexual assault, harassment or discrimination have three reporting options:

Making a report means that you are telling someone in authority what happened either in person, by telephone, in writing or by email. Filing a complaint is often the best way to seek protection from future harm. At the time a report is made, you do not have to decide whether or not to request any particular course of action; nor do you need to know how to label what happened. Sierra College provides confidential support to help you make these important decisions. In addition, your local Rape Crisis Center has Legal Advocacy Specialists who are trained to explain your legal options and pro-bono attorneys on staff who are able to give you legal advice.

Right to Report or not Report, It is up to you

Options Will my information be confidential? Can I request a forensic medical exam? Will there be an investigation? Will there be disciplinary action for the accused?
Formal report with campus (such as with Title IX officer) Your privacy will be protected to the greatest legal extent possible. Some Sierra College personnel involved in your case will have access to your information, and your name may be shared with the accused if there’s an investigation. Yes, you can ask for a referral to have a forensic medical exam. In some cases, physical evidence may assist an investigation. It depends on the information given and facts of the situation. In many cases, there is an investigation. Possibly, depending on the findings of an investigation.
Police report Your name won’t be disclosed, if you request that it remain confidential. However, be aware that if the case advances to a court trial, your name would be included in court records, which are public documents. Yes, you can ask for a referral to have a forensic medical exam. In some cases, physical evidence may assist an investigation. It depends on the information given and facts of the situation. In many cases, there is an investigation. Possibly, depending on the findings of an investigation.
Anonymous reporting Yes Yes, you can ask for a referral to have a forensic medical exam. Depends on the information given. Depends on the information given.

Report to Sierra College

  • Making a report to Sierra College is not the same as reporting to law enforcement.
  • You have the right to pursue criminal and/or civil charges in addition to making a report to the College. In fact, you can make a report to the College while simultaneously pursuing criminal and/or civil proceedings off campus.
  • To the extent possible, the College will respect your privacy and autonomy in deciding how to proceed. The College will balance your interest with its obligation to provide a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the campus community. In every report of sexual violence, harassment or discrimination, the College will immediately assess any risk of harm to you and to the campus community and will take steps necessary to address those risks. These steps may include interim protective measures to provide for your safety and the safety of the campus community.
  • A disciplinary investigation may be initiated depending on a variety of factors, such as the nature of the allegation and the risk posed to any individual or the campus community by not proceeding with the investigation. The investigation can be initiated regardless of whether you report the sexual violence to law enforcement. The Respondent will be informed of your complaint and will be given the opportunity to respond. The investigation will include interviews with you, the Respondent, and potential witnesses.
  • The disciplinary investigation is usually followed by a hearing. The Claimant and the Respondent are entitled to the same opportunity to have others present during the hearing. Both the Claimant and the Respondent are informed of the outcome of this hearing. The Respondent has the right to appeal the hearing decision.
  • The outcome of the hearing can result in punitive outcomes for the Respondent, including:
    • Dismissal
    • Suspension
    • Probation
    • Referral to local law enforcement agencies for prosecution, pursuant to Board Policy 3430 Prohibition of Harassment and Board Policy 5500 Standards of Conduct.
  • Upon your request, Sierra College will make reasonable changes to your academic and/or on-campus employment. These changes may be interim or permanent. Interim changes do not preclude disciplinary action in the future. Reasonable accommodations include, to the extent possible:
    • Preventing the Respondent from ongoing contact with you
    • Taking the Respondent out of a class
    • Issuing an administrative no-contact order
    • Assigning the Respondent to a different class section
    • Asking an administrative authority to speak to the Respondent to express serious concern about a behavior
    • Reminding the Respondent of policies and definitions relating to sexual misconduct and offering counseling targeted to addressing sexual aggression

Report to Law Enforcement

  • It is recommended that you report sexual assault to law enforcement. Call 911 or local law enforcement whether the assault occurred on or off campus
  • Try to recall the assaulter’s physical characteristics; voice, clothes, an unusual odor.
  • Reporting rape or other act of sexual violence to local law enforcement does not commit you to filing charges, unless you are under the age of 18. Even if you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the attack, a sex crime has still occurred. California Penal Code says that sexual assault victims cannot be charged for misdemeanor alcohol or drug use at the time of the attack.
  • You have the legal right to have an Advocate from the local Rape Crisis Center present during all interactions with law enforcement. You also have the option to make your report from your local Rape Crisis Center. You do not have to go to the police station to file a report.
  • You have the option to file civil charges. Contact the Title IX CARE Office or your local Rape Crisis Center for confidential information about this option.
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