Definitions

What Is Sexual Misconduct?

  • Sexual Misconduct. Sexual misconduct is an action or course of actions that violates the rights of others, and demonstrates flagrant disregard for the principles of this community. Sexual misconduct is such behavior and is prohibited at La Salle. Sexual misconduct is a broad range of behavior that includes, but is not limited to, non-consensual sexual penetration, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual harassment, dating/relationship violence, domestic violence, and stalking. La Salle seeks to prevent all forms of sexual misconduct, and desires to establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment for all members of the community through sexual misconduct prevention, education, support, and a fair adjudication process.  Use of alcohol or other drugs does not minimize or excuse a person’s responsibility for conduct that violates this policy.  The definitions below are intended to provide clarity, and do not suggest that one behavior is more severe or violating than the other.
  • Sexual Assault. Sexual assault may be rape, fondling without consent, incest, or statutory rape, or an attempt at any of them, as defined in the Clery Act and below.
    • Rape is the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.
    • Fondling is the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent (as defined below) of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of their temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
    • Incest is sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law in the applicable jurisdiction.
    • Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction.
    • Sexual assault can be committed by any person against any other person, regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or past or current relationship status. Sexual assault may occur with or without physical resistance or violence.
  • Sexual Exploitation. Sexual exploitation occurs when a person takes sexual advantage of another person for the benefit of anyone other than that other person without that other person’s consent. Examples of behavior that could constitute sexual exploitation include but are not limited to the following:
    • Intentional non-consensual contact with the private body parts of another person that does not meet the definition of behaviors prohibited under the definition of “Sexual Assault,” above;
    • Prostituting another person;
    • Recording or capturing through any means images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity without that person’s consent;
    • Distributing images (e.g., video, photograph) or audio of another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity, if the individual distributing the images or audio knows or should have known that the person(s) depicted in the images or audio did not consent to such disclosure and object(s) or would object to such disclosure; and/or
    • Viewing another person’s sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity in a place where that person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, without that person’s consent, if the individual viewing the other person’s or persons’ sexual activity, intimate body parts, or nudity in such a place knows or should have known that the person(s) being viewed would object to that.
  • Domestic Violence. Domestic violence is physical and/or sexual violence or threats of such violence committed—
    • By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the person subjected to the violence;
    • By a person with whom the person subjected to the violence shares a child in common;
    • By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the person subjected to the violence as a spouse or intimate partner;
    • By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the person subjected to the violence under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred, or
    • By any other person against an adult or youth who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the violence occurred.
  • Dating Violence. Dating violence is physical and/or sexual violence or threats of such violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the person subjected to the violence.  The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  • Stalking. “Stalking” is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or suffer substantial emotional distress.
    • “Course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the alleged stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
    • “Reasonable person” means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the person subjected to the stalking.
    • “Substantial emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
    • Examples of stalking behaviors or activities include, but are not limited to the following, if they occur in the context of stalking as defined above:
      • Non-consensual communication, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, voice messages, e-mails, text messages, written letters, gifts, or any other communications that are unwelcome.
      • Use of online, electronic or digital technologies in connection with such communication, including but not limited to:
        • Posting of pictures or text in chat rooms or on websites;
        • Sending unwanted/unsolicited e-mail or talk requests;
        • Posting private or public messages on Internet sites, social networks, and/or school bulletin boards;
        • Installing spyware on a person’s computer;
        • Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or similar technology to monitor a person.
        • Pursuing, following, waiting for, or showing up uninvited at or near a residence, workplace, classroom, or other places frequented by the person.
        • Surveillance or other types of observation including staring or “voyeurism”
        • Trespassing
        • Vandalism
        • Non-consensual touching
        • Direct verbal or physical threats
        • Gathering information about an individual from friends, family, or co-workers
        • Accessing private information through unauthorized means
        • Threats to harm self or others
        • Defamation and/or lying to others about the person, or
        • Using a third party or parties to accomplish any of the above.

Other Definitions

  • Consent. Consent means words or actions, freely and actively given by each party, which a reasonable person would interpret as a willingness to participate in agreed-upon sexual conduct.  Consent is not present or valid when a person is incapable of giving consent because they are incapacitated by drugs or alcohol; when intimidation, threats, physical force, or other actions that a reasonable person in that person’s circumstances would consider coercive are applied; when that person is placed in fear that any person will suffer imminent bodily injury; when a physical or mental condition is present such that the person cannot knowingly or voluntarily give consent; or when a person is under the age of 16.  Silence, non-communication, or a lack of resistance does not necessarily imply consent.  Previous relationships or consent do not imply consent to future sexual conduct.  Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity.  Consent can be rescinded at any time.
    • The use of alcohol or drugs does not minimize or excuse a person’s responsibility for committing sexual misconduct, or that person’s responsibility for determining whether another is capable of giving consent.
  • An objective standard will be used in determining whether a person is incapable of giving consent due to the person’s incapacitation by the use or consumption of drugs or alcohol, or if a physical or mental condition as described above is present. That is, consent is not present or valid when:
  • From the standpoint of a reasonable person, the respondent knew, or reasonably should have known, that the person was incapable of giving consent because the person was incapacitated by the person’s use or consumption of drugs or alcohol, or that the person’s physical or mental condition would prevent knowing and voluntary consent; and
  • The person was, in fact, incapable of giving consent because the person was incapacitated by the person’s use or consumption of drugs or alcohol, or the person was incapable of providing knowing or voluntary consent due to a physical or mental condition.
  • Coercion. Coercion is defined as compelling someone to act by applying pressure, harassment, threats, intimidation, or other actions a reasonable person would consider to be coercive.
  • Complainant. A complainant is usually an individual filing a complaint to the university regarding sexual violence. In some cases (such as, e.g., cases in which a person involved in an incident of alleged sexual misconduct, domestic or dating violence or misconduct, stalking, or related retaliation does not wish to participate in the process but La Salle decides that the alleged misconduct needs to be investigated), La Salle may pursue an investigation and adjudication under this policy without a designated complainant. In these cases La Salle may extend some or all of the rights of a complainant as defined in this policy to affected parties as deemed appropriate by the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy.
  • Respondent. A respondent is an individual whose alleged conduct is being investigated to determine if it is in violation of the sexual misconduct policy.
  • Interim Measures: When an incident of sexual misconduct is reported to the university, certain interim measures can be taken to protect the rights and safety of the person reporting, the respondent, and the university community, including:
    • No Contact Order.  When sexual misconduct has been reported, the Title IX Coordinator or appropriate supervisory authority may issue No Contact Orders to the persons involved, whether or not disciplinary action is taken.  A No Contact Order is used to restrict encounters and communications between individuals. While a No Contact Order in and of itself does not constitute discipline and will not appear in a student’s disciplinary record, refusal to adhere to the order after written or verbal notification of its terms is prohibited and may result in disciplinary action.
    • No Trespass/Persona Non-Grata Notice. A No Trespass Notice prohibits the presence of an individual on La Salle property, or other properties on which La Salle programs are occurring. Violating a No Trespass Notice is considered to be a violation of La Salle policy.  As No Trespass Notices are legally enforceable, a violation may lead to arrest and prosecution.
    • Other interim measures available for students who report sexual violence include but are not limited to:
      • Interim suspension from the university/university housing,
      • Adjustments to academic classes or university residence assignments
      • Limited/suspended access to university facilities
      • Working to minimize the burden on the complainant
  • Retaliation
    • Retaliating directly or indirectly against a person who has in good faith made a report of sexual violence or participated in an investigation is prohibited. Retaliation includes but is not limited to ostracizing the person, pressuring the person to drop or not support the complaint or to provide false or misleading information, engaging in conduct that may reasonably be perceived to affect adversely that person’s educational, living, or work environment, threatening, intimidating or coercing the person, or otherwise discriminating against any person for exercising their rights or responsibilities under this policy. In the event a retaliation claim is validated, an investigation will be conducted and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, if warranted.