Common DC Student Sexual Misconduct Charges

Allegations of sexual harassment may occur in numerous forms, with varying degrees of penalties. While this is a broad category, it might include:

  • Inappropriate comments
  • Sexually-charged discussions
  • Comments about appearance
  • Sex acts in an inappropriate environment
  • A professor, faculty member, teaching assistant, or another person in a position of authority exerting inappropriate influence over a student or someone working for them

While each one may have varying legal ramifications, any one of them could have long-lasting consequences on a student’s professional and personal life. Therefore, speaking to an experienced attorney about the common DC student sexual misconduct charges may be advisable. A knowledgeable sexual misconduct attorney could help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to build a defense that suits your case.

Frequent Scenarios that May Lead to an Allegation

The most common situation which leads to a DC sexual misconduct charge involves drugs or alcohol. This could happen at a party, at a bar or a club, in a dorm room, or after a party in an environment of school or individuals. The common factors in a sexual misconduct offense on campus include:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Living situations
  • The young age of many students
  • The first time living away from home and the freedom that is associated with it
  • The new experiences for most students
  • Experimenting and developing their own way of behaving

For some people, these situations can lead to behaviors that would not arise in other environments.

Dorm Settings

Sexual misconduct may occur in dorm environments when students are socializing in each other’s rooms. Such instances may occur because of the volume and nature of interactions between students, and the ease of access between where people sleep and live in a shared dorm environment. Since people often do not lock their rooms, the general familiarity allows the opportunity for perpetrators to commit sexual misconduct against a stranger, acquaintance, friend, or someone with whom they have some relationship.

Unhealthy Group Dynamics

Another aspect of college life is the kind of group mentality, both on campuses as a whole or in the country as a whole. Among many others, group environments may include a club, an athletic team, or a Greek organization.

There can be unhealthy group dynamics that encourage individuals to act in ways that they would not act on their own or without the influence of those group dynamics. The group bonding can be centered around the abuse of others and could take the form of sexual misconduct. College life presents opportunities for those sorts of behaviors and presents many opportunities for those sorts of dynamics to arise. These are common situations that can lead to sexual misconduct allegations.

Uneven Power Dynamics

Sexual misconduct allegations could arise if a superior is making inappropriate sexual comments or physical contact. On some campuses, it can be defined even broader to include acts that may make individuals feel uncomfortable even if there is no intent or direct sexual component to the person’s conduct. Sexual harassment is a common type of campus misconduct charge in Washington DC.

What Harassment Means in Charges of Sexual Misconduct

Since harassment is defined uniquely with each campus, its definition may vary. It is typically a broad category of behavior that involves some form of abuse of a sexual nature, including the abuse of a power dynamic. It usually does not involve physical conduct, which would be considered a sexual assault. Essentially, sexual harassment is making someone feel uncomfortable or unwelcome with inappropriate sexual remarks.

While there may be some physical contact or physical behavior that is not inherently criminal or offensive, it would be inappropriate in a certain context due to the relationship of the parties involved a professor and a student, a teaching assistant and a student, a professor and someone working in the professor’s lab, and a professor and a fellow for the faculty member.

What may otherwise be an appropriate interaction between two adults could be inappropriate when one party is in a position of authority or power over another. Other types of harassment would be bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, unwelcome or inappropriate forms of reward, or exchanging things of value for sexual behaviors or favors. Those are other common types of harassment that occur and are under the category of campus sexual misconduct.

Simple Assault

While simple assault is defined differently on certain campuses, it is usually described as actual physical contact of a sexual nature that is unwanted or was not consented to. This may range from unwanted groping or touching all the way up to a sexual act. Rape can also be under the category of sexual assault. On some campuses, the definition also includes the threat of assault or putting someone in fear that they are going to experience unwanted physical contact.

Sexual battery

Sexual battery is defined as unwanted physical sexual contact. Some campuses include this as sexual assault, while others call it sexual battery. Furthermore, some campuses make a distinction between sexual battery—which involves physical contact—and sexual assault, which could involve incidents of physical contact but could also include a threat to commit such contact.

Rape

Rape is a common form of campus sexual misconduct. It is generally defined on campus as it is defined under the law, as unwanted penetrative sex. It is likely the most serious type of campus misconduct.

Pornography

In certain cases, there is sexual misconduct related to pornography. Most campuses in DC do not have a ban on pornography, as it is legal under U.S. and D.C. law. However, if there is the presence of child pornography or the sharing of private photos or videos without a person’s consent, then this can lead to a type of sexual misconduct charge.

Call an Attorney to Discuss Common DC Student Sexual Harassment Charges

No matter which of the common DC student sexual misconduct charges, an intelligent defense lawyer could provide the legal support and guidance you need.

Understanding how harassment allegations might impact your student life and beyond may be the first step in building a strong defense case. To learn more, reach out to a hard-working attorney to schedule a consultation.

DC Student Sexual Misconduct Lawyer