Sexual Assault Protocol
Miami University is committed to maintaining a learning, living, and working environment free of sexual assault/sexual misconduct. This Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct Protocol describes how the University typically investigates and responds to reports of sexual assault or sexual misconduct. It also provides guidance for students who have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, outlines the University's disciplinary response to alleged incidents of sexual misconduct, and identifies the relevant organizations within the University responsible for managing the Protocol and programs associated with it.
Miami Offfice of the Dean of Students serves as the primary source of support for students who experience sexual misconduct or assault. Students can expect us to: 1) provide connections to medical and mental health treatment, 2) help victims report the offense to the police and inform them of how to pursue disciplinary action, 3) assist students with accessing academic support services, and 4) support victims with emotional health and other needs.
Dr. Terri Messman-Moore serves as Miami’s interim Title IX deputy coordinator for student-on-student assault at Miami University. She can be reached via the Office of the Dean of Students by phone at 513-529-1877 or by email at email@example.com.
Miami’s Protocol complies with applicable state and federal law. Miami University reserves the right to modify or deviate from this Protocol when, in the sole judgment of the University, circumstance warrant or in order to protect the rights of the involved parties or to comply with law.
The University is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes responsibility, dignity, and respect in matters of sexual conduct. To fulfill this commitment, the University seeks to maintain an environment in which all students can pursue their education free of sexual assault/sexual misconduct including acquaintance or date rape.
The University is dedicated to preventing sexual assault and sexual misconduct by providing an education and prevention program informing the community about the risks and myths that contribute to sexual assault and sexual misconduct; providing assistance and support including procedures sensitive to a person who has experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct; and by providing a process for investigation and adjudication that includes appropriate disciplinary sanctions for those who commit sexual misconduct.
Sexual assault or sexual misconduct committed by students, whether on or off campus, is prohibited and will not be tolerated. This applies to residential and off-campus conduct, academic, educational, co-curricular, athletic, study abroad, and other University programs. Miami University urges people who have been the victim of sexual assault to pursue criminal charges against the person or persons they believe to have committed the crime. A student who has been the victim of sexual assault or sexual misconduct involving another student is also urged to make a disciplinary complaint to the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. A criminal charge and a disciplinary complaint may be pursued at the same time. Retaliation against a person, who reports a crime, brings a complaint, pursues legal action, or who participates in an investigation or is a witness in any proceeding is prohibited and will not be tolerated.
Criminal Definitions—Sexual Assault
Any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
A. Forcible Rape—The carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly and/or against the person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity (or because of his/her youth).
B. Forcible Sodomy—Oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
C. Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct With An Object—The use of an object or instrument to unlawfully penetrate, however slightly, the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity.
D. Forcible Fondling—The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or, not forcibly or against the person's will where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her youth or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.
Code of Student Conduct Definition—Sexual Misconduct
Any sexual conduct directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will; or where the victim is incapable of giving consent.
Consent must be voluntary. An individual cannot consent who is substantially impaired by any drug or intoxicant; or who has been compelled by force, threat of force, or deception; or who is unaware that the act is being committed; or whose ability to consent is impaired because of a mental or physical condition; or who is coerced by supervisory or disciplinary authority. Consent may be withdrawn at any time. Prior sexual activity or relationship does not, in and of itself, constitute consent.
Examples of sexual misconduct include, but are not limited to the following:
- Non-consensual sexual intercourse, defined as any sexual penetration however slight, with any body part or object by any person upon any person without consent.
- Non-consensual sexual contact, defined as any intentional sexual touching with any body part or object by any person upon any person without consent.
- Sexual exploitation, defined as taking non-consensual, unjust or abusive sexual advantage of another. Examples include, but are not limited to non-consensual video or audio-taping of sexual activity, going beyond the boundaries of consent (such as knowingly allowing another to surreptitiously watch otherwise consensual sexual activity) and engaging in non-consensual voyeurism.
- Indecent exposure, defined as the exposure of the private or intimate parts of the body in a lewd manner in public or in private premises when the accused may be readily observed.
Miami University will preserve student confidentiality to the extent possible and allowed by law. The degree to which confidentiality can be protected, however, depends upon whether or not the individual to whom the sexual assault or sexual misconduct is reported is legally required to report this information. Student Affairs staff, including Resident Assistants and Professional Residence Life Staff, are required to report sexual assault and sexual misconduct to the Miami University Police who will report it to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Assault. The person being consulted should make these limits clear before any disclosure of facts. A person can speak confidentially with certain persons in legally protected roles at Miami University including counselors at Student Counseling Service and medical staff at the Student Health Center and off-campus with counselors, physicians and the Butler County Rape Crisis Program at (513) 381-5610 or tollfree, 877-889-5610.
IV. Crime Alerts/Emergency Notification
If a report of sexual assault or sexual misconduct reveals there is an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or employees on campus or that an on-going serious or continuing threat to the campus community exists, an Emergency Notification or a Campus Crime Alert will be issued. The purpose of a Campus Crime Alert is to enable persons to protect themselves, and to heighten safety awareness as well as to seek information that will lead to an arrest and conviction of the perpetrator. The victim's name and other personally identifying information is NOT included in any Emergency Notification or Crime Alert.
For more information on the Clery Act, Campus Crime Alerts and Emergency Notifications go to http://www.miami.muohio.edu/campus-safety/annual-report/index.html. Reports of sexual assault/sexual misconduct are included in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report—Crime Statistics—http://www.miami.muohio.edu/campus-safety/crime-stats/index.html.
The Office of the Dean of Students will be notified anytime a sexual assault or sexual misconduct report has been filed with the Miami University Police Department or the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. The Dean of Students will coordinate the University's response.
V. Victim Resources and Support Services
Miami University encourages students who have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual misconduct to obtain medical attention and file a police report.
A. Medical and Counseling Resources
1. Medical Treatment
A person who has been the victim of sexual assault or sexual misconduct is urged to seek appropriate medical evaluation as promptly as possible, ideally within 96 hours of the incident.
For life-threatening conditions, call 911 (9-911 from a campus phone) or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital has a trained sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) who can help.
2. Medical – Legal Evidence Collection
A person who has experienced sexual assault (particularly rape, forcible oral copulation, or sodomy) or sexual misconduct is encouraged to request collection of medical-legal evidence. Prompt collection of physical evidence is essential should a person later decide to pursue criminal prosecution and/or a civil action. Collection of evidence may involve interaction with police and a police report.
If the sexual assault or sexual misconduct occurred within 96 hours, a free and confidential exam can be administered at local hospitals. The sooner sexual assault or sexual misconduct is reported, the more likely evidence will still be present. “Date Rape” drugs, including rohypnol and GHB, may still be present in the victim’s system and should be tested for if the victim believes he or she may have been drugged. To help preserve evidence, the victim is encouraged to put any soiled clothes in a paper (not plastic) bag, and to refrain from the following:
Questions about evidence collection can be directed to Butler County Rape Crisis Program at (513) 381-5610 or 877-889-5610 or the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital.
3. Confidential Counseling Resources
Counselors at a variety of agencies both on- and off-campus can help a person decide what steps to take, such as seeking medical attention, preserving evidence, obtaining counseling, and reporting to authorities. Information, support and advice are available for anyone who wishes to discuss issues related to sexual assault or sexual misconduct, whether or not a sexual assault or sexual misconduct has actually occurred, whether or not the person seeking information has been assaulted, has been accused of a sexual assault or sexual misconduct, or is a third party.
• Oxford Campus Student Counseling Service, 513-529-4634 (normal business hours)
• Hamilton Campus Counseling, 513-785-3211
• Middletown Campus Counseling, 513-727-3431
• On-call University counselors (through University police dispatcher dispatcher), 513-529-2222
* Professional staff members who are legally obligated to maintain confidentiality work at these offices. Meeting with one of these staff members does not start the protocol process.
Crisis intervention is available to victims 24 hours a day by calling the independent Butler County Rape Crisis Program at (513) 381-5610 or tollfree, 877-889-5610.
B. Academic and Residential Support Resources
Students who have been sexually assaulted may obtain support services such as changing academic and living situations from the Office of the Dean of Students. No police report, disciplinary charge or investigation need occur before this option is available. Support services include the following:
To access academic and residential support services, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 529-1877.
C. Speak with the Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program
The Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program (529-1870) is available during regular business hours throughout the academic year to meet with students who need guidance about the sexual assault or sexual misconduct process. Students will become aware of support, medical services, and reporting options.
VI. Initiating a Report of Sexual Assault and/or Sexual Misconduct
A. Initiating a Complaint/Report
Students who have been the victim of sexual assault or sexual misconduct should promptly report the incident. Victims have four options for reporting sexual assault and sexual misconduct: 1) reporting to the police; 2) reporting to the University’s Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution for disciplinary action (if the accused is a student); 3) reporting to both the police and the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution; and 4) reporting to the University’s interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Assault, Dr. Terri Messman-Moore, via the Dean of Students office.
Miami University encourages victims to file a police report in cases involving potential criminal conduct. The Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program will assist victims in making a report to the police.
The Code of Student Conduct addresses a much broader range of sexual misconduct than the criminal law. Criminal investigations/prosecutions are not determinative of whether a violation of the Code of Student Conduct—Sexual Misconduct has occurred.
While the University does not condone underage drinking or violation of other University policies, it considers reporting sexual assault and sexual misconduct to be of paramount importance. To encourage reporting and adjudication of sexual assault and sexual misconduct, Miami University will extend limited amnesty to students who have been the victim of sexual misconduct or sexual assault. The University will generally not seek to hold the student responsible for his/her own violations of the law (e.g., underage drinking) or the Code of Student Conduct in which he or she may have been involved during the period immediately surrounding the sexual assault/sexual misconduct.
C. Reporting to the Miami University Police Department/Off-Campus Police
For a sexual assault that took place on-campus, students are urged to contact the Miami University Police Department directly at 911 (or 9-911 from a campus phone) to file a police report. Miami Police officers will respond quickly and with sensitivity upon notification of an assault.
Students who are victims of off-campus sexual assault who want to file a police report should call 911 (emergency) or 513-529-2222 (non-emergency). Upon request, the Miami University police, the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution or the Office of the Dean of Students will assist students in notifying the Oxford Police or other appropriate police department of off-campus assaults.
In addition to all other available processes and in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Section 3345.22 and .23 (“1219” procedures), an alleged perpetrator who has been arrested and charged with a qualifying crime (rape, sexual battery or gross sexual imposition), may be suspended pending final resolution of the criminal charges. If convicted, the student is dismissed for a period of one year and may only be readmitted to the University by the Board of Trustees upon terms of strict disciplinary probation. Suspension and dismissal under the “1219” process is imposed in addition to University discipline under the Code of Student Conduct.
Sexual assault and sexual misconduct reported to the Miami University Police will be reported to the University’s Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Assault.
Please note, a delay in reporting could weaken or result in a loss of evidence used to determine whether an individual is responsible for a sexual assault or sexual misconduct. Individuals may have up to 20 years to file a sexual assault report with the police.
D. Report to the Dean of Students
Students may elect to report the assault directly to Dr. Mike Curme, interim Dean of Students, or to Dr. Terri Messman-Moore, the University’s interim Deputy Title IX Coordinator for Student Sexual Assault in Warfield Hall, (513-529-1877). The Dean of Students will generally first suggest that the student attend to any medical needs immediately. The student will receive information on medical and psychological resources available. The Dean of Students can arrange for a professional staff member to accompany the student to the hospital if requested by the student. The student will also be assisted in contacting a support person such as a friend or the Coordinator of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program if desired.
The victim will be informed of his or her right to file a police report and/or file a disciplinary complaint against an accused student. Upon request, the Office of the Dean of Students will assist students in notifying the Miami University Police if on-campus and Oxford Police or other appropriate police department for off-campus sexual assaults and/or in filing a disciplinary complaint if the accused is a student.
The victim has the right to determine whether she or he will file a written disciplinary complaint with the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. The Dean of Students is required by law to notify appropriate law enforcement authorities of any sexual assault reported to her.
The Dean of Students will seek the victim’s consent to investigate the report. If the student consents to the investigation, the Dean of Students will investigate as outlined below.
An investigation will not begin without the consent of the student unless the Dean of Students determines circumstances warrant investigation. The Dean of Students will evaluate the request for confidentiality in the context of the University’s obligation to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students. The Dean will weigh the request for confidentiality against the nature of the alleged assault (e.g., use of force or threat of force, alleged use of “date rape” drugs), whether there have been other complaints against the same person and the accused’s right to access to the complaint. If the victim insists that his or her privacy be protected and that his or her name or other identifiable information not be disclosed to the accused, the Dean of Students will advise the victim of the University’s limited ability to respond to the complaint and that disciplinary action cannot be instituted without a written signed complaint and disclosing the victim’s identity. The Dean of Students may take other steps to limit the effects of the alleged assault and prevent its recurrence.
VII. Investigating a Report of Sexual Assault/Sexual Misconduct
If the victim has consented to an investigation, the Dean of Students (or designee) will meet with the complainant to discuss the investigation and review the details of the allegation and to explain the subsequent steps involved in a sexual assault/sexual misconduct investigation.
Immediate Response. The Dean of Students (or designee) will initiate an immediate response to separate the accuser and accused from engaging each other in common areas, residence halls, campus buildings, and student activities. The Dean of Students (or designee) will outline options to change the accuser’s or the accused's academic and/or living situations if those changes are requested by the accuser or accused and are reasonably available. The Dean of Students has the discretion to remove the accuser or accused from a hostile living situation.
A. Preliminary Investigation
The Dean of Students (or designee) will review the victim’s report. If the report alleges potential criminal conduct and the police have not been notified the Dean of Students will notify the University Police.
The Dean of Students will inform both parties of the respective time and place of the interviews of the parties and any witnesses. Contact between the parties will be limited to necessity. During this stage of investigation, both the accuser and the accused have the right to be accompanied by an advocate.
The purpose of the preliminary questioning is to ascertain to a reasonable suspicion if there may have been a sexual assault or sexual misconduct and what immediate responses need to occur. At the conclusion of the interviews, the Dean of Students or designee will prepare a preliminary report of the findings of the investigation.
During any stage of the investigation, if the Dean of Students (or designee) reasonably suspects that the accused poses an imminent threat of harm or disruption to the campus community, the Dean of Students may initiate disciplinary charges and the summary suspension process without a written complaint to immediately remove the accused from campus and/or restrict the respondent's movement on campus.
B. Remedial Action
In the event the Dean of Students (or designee) finds by a preponderance of the evidence that sexual assault or sexual misconduct did occur, the University will take immediate steps to end the sexual assault or sexual misconduct, eliminate any hostile environment that has been created, prevent any further sexual assault or sexual misconduct and prevent retaliation. Additional remedial action including victim counseling, tutoring, no-contact orders, and/or permitting a student to retake a course may be taken. In addition, the accused may be required to participate in educational intervention.
The student has the right not to file a written report with the police or with Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution. However, absent egregious and compelling circumstances, the University will not initiate disciplinary action against the accused in the absence of a written signed complaint from the victim.
C. Filing a Written Complaint with the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution
If the accused is a Miami student, students are urged to file a written complaint of sexual misconduct with the Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution (OESCR) by calling 529-1417. Students can pursue a disciplinary complaint with OESCR without pursuing criminal charges. Upon request, OESCR staff will assist students in notifying the Miami University Police of on-campus and Oxford Police of off-campus sexual assaults.
Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunity for access to information that will be used at the hearing, to present relevant witnesses and other evidence and to have others present during the hearing. Confidential medical/counseling records and information regarding the victim’s sexual history will not be provided to the accused and is not admissible at any disciplinary proceeding.
An accused student, in accordance with University disciplinary procedures, may be summarily suspended from campus pending the final outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.
The policies, procedures, and sanctions outlined in the Code of Student Conduct apply to all violations of the Code of Student Conduct, and sexual misconduct violations are no exception. The Code of Student Conduct can be found in the Student Handbook on the University’s website at http://www.miami.muohio.edu/documents/secretary/Student_Handbook.pdf.
1. Disciplinary Sanctions
Sanctions against a student who has violated the Code of Student Conduct- Sexual Misconduct will vary depending on the severity of the violation. Sanctions may include expulsion from campus housing, educational intervention, and/or may include suspension, or dismissal from the University. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed in writing of the final outcome of the disciplinary action.
2. Appeal Process
Both the accuser and accused may appeal based on the grounds and process identified in the Code of Student Conduct.
Disciplinary complaints may be filed with Office of Ethics and Student Conflict Resolution at any time the accused is a student at Miami University based on the written complaint of the accuser.
Any retaliatory action or conduct taken by any person against a person who has sought relief under this Protocol is strictly prohibited and will be regarded as a distinct violation of the University’s Policy Prohibiting Harassment and Discrimination and/or a violation of the Code of Student Conduct if the person engaged in retaliatory action is a student.
IX. Legal Options
In addition to University disciplinary action, a person who engages in sexual assault or sexual misconduct may be the subject of criminal prosecution and/or civil litigation. A police report must be made for criminal prosecution to be considered by the local Prosecuting Attorney. The chances of successful prosecution are greater if the report is timely and is supported by the collection of medical-legal evidence.
Complaints may also be filed with the United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights or by consulting an attorney at the person's own expense.
X. Interests of the Accused
It must be recognized that the accused in a University investigation has legal and other rights, and that complaints in which each of the parties are members of the campus community are the most ethically and legally complex. A presumption of guilt should not be made as the result of any allegations. In the event that a student is accused of sexual assault or sexual misconduct and a disciplinary complaint is lodged, the accused will be encouraged to seek advice from a member of the University community and is entitled to the same information as the accuser.
Counseling and/or support is available to the accused student through the University’s Student Counseling Service.
XI. Education and Prevention: Departmental Responsibilities
The Division of Student Affairs creates, supports, and evaluates education and support programs aimed at the eradication of sexual assault and sexual misconduct involving members of the Miami student community. To support these programs, the Coordinator of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program will coordinate sexual assault/sexual misconduct education and prevention programs. Through this commitment, the Division of Student Affairs shall educate students about the following:
- Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct Protocol and the University's commitment to enforce it
- Steps to minimize individual risk of sexual assault
- Process and responsibility for reporting sexual assault and sexual misconduct offenses
- Sexual assault and sexual misconduct awareness and resources for students who have been sexually assaulted and accused of sexual assault/sexual misconduct
- How to be a knowledgeable and supportive peer presence
- On-going wellness promotion programs that address issues including, but not limited to, sexual health and wellness, drug and alcohol education.
The Miami University Police fosters a safe campus environment by doing the following:
- Working with Facilities Management to provide adequate lighting on campus
- Providing safety and security patrols as part of regular University police/regional campus security responsibilities
- Including Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct Protocol information on its website and directly to victims who elect to file a police report and those accused of criminal sexual assault or sexual misconduct
- Accurately maintaining and reporting statistics of sexual assault/sexual misconducts as required by the Jeanne Clery Campus Security Act
- Working with Telecommunications to provide sufficient emergency phones on campus.