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Clemson University Police Department

Sex Offenses and Offenders Policy

The prevention, investigation and prosecution of sexual assault are high priorities for the Clemson University Police Department and the Student Affairs administration, whether the assault is committed by a stranger, a date or an acquaintance. The University strongly encourages victims to report sexual assault but will provide counseling, assistance and support regardless of the victim’s decision to proceed with formal charges. Information is offered to help students, faculty and staff reduce their risk of becoming a victim and to assure them that help is available if a sexual assault occurs.

Students, faculty, and staff may refer to the Safety Awareness section of this report for Public Safety Educational Programs related to sexual assault prevention. 

SC Sex Offenders Registry

Information on all registered adult sex offenders (age 17 and older) is available from the SC Sex Offenders Registry website (see http://services.sled.sc.gov/sor). Information is also available on registered sex offenders (ages 12–16) who have committed the following offenses: criminal sexual conduct in the first degree; criminal sexual conduct in the second degree; criminal sexual conduct with minors, first degree; criminal sexual conduct with minors, second degree; engaging a child for sexual performance; producing, directing or promoting sexual performance by a child or kidnapping. An evaluation must be made on any other requests for information on registered offenders under age 17 who are victims of or witnesses to an offense at public or private schools, child day-care centers, family day-care centers or businesses and organizations that primarily serve children, women or vulnerable adults. Evaluations are also required on information requests for offenders who are age 11 or younger who may have a prior conviction or adjudication of delinquency. Those who request the information must complete and submit a written request form at SLED or at the local sheriff’s office. A copy of the request form is available online and it may be mailed or faxed to Sex Offenders Registry, SLED, P.O. Box 21398, Columbia, SC 29221. The fax number is 803-896-7022.

Student Sexual Misconduct Policy

One of Clemson University’s stated goals is to maintain an environment that is healthy and safe. Sexual misconduct is not consistent with this goal and the University is committed to providing a living and learning environment that is free of such threats. It is the University’s policy that acts of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.

Sexual misconduct is defined as any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature; any act, verbal or physical, which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational, work, or living environment and/or any attempted or actual act of non-consensual or forcible sexual touching. Sexual touching would include, but is not limited to, fondling, kissing, groping, attempted intercourse (whether oral, anal or genital), penetration or attempted penetration with a digit or any other object. Sexual misconduct includes the definition of sexual harassment and sexual violence contained in the Clemson University Harassment policy which can be found at clemson.edu/access.

“Consent” requires speech or conduct indicating a freely given, uncoerced agreement to engage in sexual contact. Consent may not be inferred from silence or passivity alone and a current or previous relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent. Consent may be withdrawn at any time prior to a specific sexual act by either person. 

To be valid, the person giving consent must be physically and mentally able to: 

• Understand the circumstances and implication of the sexual act

• Able to make a reasoned decision concerning the sexual act

• Able to communicate that decision in an unambiguous manner.

There are a number of factors which may limit or negate a person’s ability to consent to a sexual act. These include impairment due to the influence of alcohol or drugs (illegal or prescription), a person’s mental or physical impairment of which the other person is aware or should reasonably have been aware, unconsciousness and fear or coercion. 

Persons accused of sexual misconduct will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with Clemson University’s policies and procedures for student conduct. At the discretion of the University, persons accused of sexual misconduct may be immediately suspended or restricted from campus pending final disposition of any disciplinary proceedings. Individuals found to have committed sexual misconduct will be subject to sanctions up to and including dismissal from the University.

In addition to student disciplinary action, persons accused of sexual misconduct may be subject to criminal prosecution by the law enforcement agency with appropriate jurisdiction in that case. South Carolina (S.C. Code Annotated, Sec. 16-3-651[h]) law defines “sexual battery” as “sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse or any intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person’s body or of any other object into the genital or anal openings of another person’s body”. Persons guilty of committing sexual battery with force (first degree sexual conduct) or through coercion (second degree sexual conduct) are subject to prosecution. In the course of a criminal investigation or prosecution, Clemson University may choose or may be required to provide information and records related to its disciplinary proceeding involving the same act. However, Clemson University’s student disciplinary process is independent of and not dependent upon any criminal process. The decision to prosecute or not prosecute and the ultimate outcome of any criminal proceedings do not affect or influence the University’s student conduct proceedings.

IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A SEXUAL ASSAULT, YOU SHOULD TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS: 

• Memorize as much detail as possible about the attacker.

• Call 911 or 864-656-2222 immediately to reach the Clemson University 

Police Department or the appropriate local police agency. This does not obligate you to file charges or testify in court.

• Clemson University will comply with a student’s request for assistance in notifying law enforcement authorities about a sexual assault; you may contact the following : 

Vice President for Student Affairs, 864-656-2161, 202 Sikes Hall, Clemson, SC 29634 

Dean of Students, 864-656-0935, 202 Hendrix Student Center, Clemson, SC 29634 

Director of Residential Life, 864-656-1151, 201 Mell Hall, Clemson, SC 29634

• Do not bathe, douche, change clothes or rinse your mouth. These actions may destroy evidence.

• You may call and request medical transportation without divulging that you have been sexually assaulted. Even if you choose not to become involved with the with the police, you should seek medical assistance at Redfern Health Center.

To pursue disciplinary action against a perpetrator who is a student, contact the Office of Community and Ethical Standards located at 912 University Union or by telephone at 864-656-0510.

To pursue disciplinary action against a perpetrator who is an employee contact the Office of Access and Equity located at 110 Holtzendorff Hall or by telephone at 864-656-3181. 

If you have any questions regarding processes related to sexual assault investigations, contact Jerry Knighton at 110 Holtzendorff Hall or by telephone at 864-656-3181. For information about on and off campus counseling, mental health or other student services for victims of sexual offenses can be found in this report under “Counseling and Psychological Services.”

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT IS REPORTED TO THE CLEMSON UNIVERSIT POLICE?

When you notify Clemson University Police of a campus sexual assault, the following will occur:

• A police officer will come to your location to help you obtain emergency medical treatment, ensure your safety and obtain a description of the suspect. He or she will ask you for the location and time of the assault, a description of the assailant and a description of your injuries.

• The case will be assigned to the Clemson University Police Department’s Investigations Division. All investigators of this Division have been trained in the investigation of sexual offenses and the crime’s impact on the victim. These investigators will approach each case in a sensitive manner.

• Clemson University Police will request a medical examination to ensure that you have suffered no physical injury and so that a medical report can be completed for use in a court proceeding if charges are pressed. You will be examined by a trained sexual assault specialist.

• You will be interviewed (you may specify the gender of the officer). If you have asked a friend or counselor for support, he or she can be with you at this time.

• A report of the incident will be referred to the Office of Community and Ethical Standards. If the suspect is a Clemson student, disciplinary action may be initiated.

When you report a campus rape, you are not making a commitment to file charges or testify in court. By reporting the matter to the Clemson University Police, you can be assured of immediate physical protection and transportation to a medical facility.

HARRASSMENT AND STALKING OFFENSES

Per SC Code of Laws 16-3-700, harassment is a pattern of intentional, substantial and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person or any reasonable person in his or her position to suffer mental or emotional distress. 

Per SC Code of Laws 16-3-700, stalking is a pattern of words, whether verbal, written or electronic, or a pattern of conduct that serves no legitimate purpose and is intended to cause and does cause a targeted or reasonable person in the targeted person’s position to fear

• death of the person or a member of his or her family,

• assault upon the person or a member of his or her family,

• bodily injury to the person or a member of his or her family,

• criminal sexual contact on the person or a member of his or her family, 

• kidnapping of the person or a member of his or her family or

• damage to the property of the person or a member of his or her family. 

The Clemson University Police Department takes all complaints of harassment and stalking seriously and actively assists students, faculty and staff in dealing with matters of this type through civil and criminal means.

Victim Assistance Pledge

The Clemson University Police Department provides a victim advocate who responds to all campus crime victims. The department makes the following pledge to anyone who feels he or she is a victim of sexual assault on campus

• We will meet with you privately, at a place of your choice, to take a complaint report.

• Our officers will not prejudge you and you will not be blamed for what occurred.

• We will treat you and your particular case with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism.

• If you feel more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, 

we will do our best to accommodate your request.

• We will assist you in arranging hospital treatment or other medical needs.

• We will assist you in privately contacting counseling, safety, advising and other available resources.

• We will fully investigate your case and help you achieve the best possible outcome. This may involve the arrest and full prosecution of the suspect responsible. You will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution.

• We will continue to be available for you, to answer your questions, explain the system and processes involved (prosecutor, court, etc.) and be a listening ear if you need one.

• We will consider your case seriously, regardless of your gender or the gender of the suspect.

What Happens When a Sexual Harassment or Assault is Reported to the Office of Community and Ethical Standards?

• Upon learning of a sexual assault, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs (or designee) will contact you to offer the services of several Student Affairs departments, including the Office of Community and Ethical Standards. 

• In the event you want the University to pursue disciplinary action, you may be asked to provide a written or verbal report of the incident if there is no other documentation. That information will be forwarded to the Director of Community and Ethical Standards (or designee), who will start University disciplinary processes. You will be invited, but not required, to meet with the director (or designee) in order to further discuss University discipline procedures. Remember that information regarding student discipline is maintained as a confidential educational record under the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

• When available information has been reviewed by the director (or designee), sanctions may be imposed. If the director (or designee) recommends an interim suspension, eviction (from University Housing), suspension (from the University) or dismissal (from the University), an administrative hearing may be scheduled. 

• You will have the option to attend the administrative hearing and provide testimony regarding the assault. The Office of Community and Ethical Standards will attempt to make special accommodations for testifying if you are not able to face the accused. You will be listened to and treated with respect. All hearings are closed to the public.

When you report a sexual assault to the Office of Community and Ethical Standards, the staff are required by law to inform the Clemson University Police Department. You may discontinue your involvement with Community and Ethical Standards at any point. The University strongly encourages all crime victims to contact the police for immediate help. 

Community and Ethical Standards — Victim’s Rights

• The alleged victim has the right to be informed of the discipline process prior to any disciplinary action involving his/her incident and has the option of discontinuing the process if the evidence is based solely on the alleged victim’s testimony. In cases of sexual misconduct, the matter will be referred to the Office of Access and Equity, if the victim decides to discontinue the process. 

• The alleged victim has the right to attend the hearing involving the referred student. The alleged victim will have the option of providing testimony regarding the incident. The Office of Community and Ethical Standards will attempt to make special accommodations when deemed necessary. The alleged victim will be listened to and treated with respect.

• The alleged victim is entitled to bring one adviser to be present during testimony at the hearing. This adviser may be a member of the University staff, the student body or any other individual the student chooses. The adviser’s role is limited to communicating directly with the student. The adviser may not directly participate in the hearing or ask questions of the student or witnesses.

• The alleged victim shall be informed, in writing, of the outcome of the disciplinary hearing. If the alleged victim is deceased as a result of such crime or offense, the next of kin shall be treated as the alleged victim for purposes of this notification. In the event the referred student appeals the decision, the director (or his/her designee) will keep the alleged victim informed of the status of those appeals.

• The alleged victim may request changes in his/her academic and/or living situation. The University will accommodate such changes if reasonably available. 

• In cases of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, the alleged victim has the right to appeal the finding of the disciplinary hearing. 

Community and Ethical Standards — Rights of the Referred Student

The University’s complete Administrative Disciplinary Procedures can be found in the “Student Discipline Policies” section of the Student Code of Conduct. The following points are condensed from those policies:

• When investigating alleged violations of student regulations, University judicial officials, student judicial board members and administrative hearing board members shall respect an individual’s right to remain silent.

• Pending action on alleged violations of University regulations or pending final disposition of any appeal, the status of a student shall not be altered, nor shall there be a suspension of a student’s right to be present on campus to attend classes, except when an interim suspension has been imposed.

• A student who is alleged to have violated a public law may also have violated a student regulation and will be subject to dual jurisdiction. This means that the University can process a student’s case separately from any action taken by the criminal justice system.

• In the case of an alleged violation of a student regulation, a student is required to meet with a University judicial official, the student judicial board or an administrative hearing board to facilitate the resolution of the case. 

• Prior cases of discipline cannot be used against a student in determining whether or not the action is a violation of a student regulation. However, prior discipline can be used in determining the sanction if the student is found in violation of a student regulation. 

• Failure to meet with a University official may result in an additional charge of failure to comply and may result in forfeiture of certain procedural rights.

• A University judicial official shall inform a student in writing of the reasons for any proposed disciplinary action in sufficient time to ensure that the student has an opportunity to prepare for a hearing, if applicable. 

• To assist in preparing for a disciplinary hearing and to assist the student at such a hearing, a student may choose one adviser. This adviser may be a member of the University staff, the student body or any other individual the student chooses. The adviser’s role is limited to communicating directly with the student. The adviser may not directly participate in the hearing or ask questions of the student or witnesses. The student is responsible for contacting any witnesses on his or her behalf.

• The referred student shall be informed of the outcome of each step of the disciplinary process.

• In the event a student is found to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct for sexual assault, possible sanctions include but are not limited to an interim suspension, dismissal from University Housing, suspension from the University or dismissal from the University.

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