College campuses are known to be rowdy places with lots and lots of mischief going on, but when all that action morphs into criminal misconduct, it is an entirely different matter that the law takes exceptionally seriously. And this is never more true than when sexual misconduct is involved. Let’s take a closer look.
College groups, such as sororities, fraternities, clubs, and many other organizations engage in initiations that sometimes cross the line between acceptable and what is considered hazing. Hazing refers to intentional, knowing, or reckless acts that can occur on or off campus but that are directed against another student (or other students) during any process associated with initiation into the group. Examples include:
Acts that threaten permanent bodily damage, including sleep deprivation, confinement to a small space, and exposure to extreme elements
The forced consumption of anything that can result in unreasonable harm, such as alcohol, drugs, or food
An act that results in unreasonable mental or emotional distress
Crimes Involving Drugs and Alcohol
Young adults on campus often experiment with drugs and alcohol, and these actions can spell serious legal problems. Further, drugs and alcohol can blur the line between consensual sex and sexual misconduct, making the stakes even higher.
Dating Violence and Sexual Assault
College campuses are hotbeds for charges and allegations of dating violence and sexual assault, and while such charges are often legitimate, they are sometimes overblown. Some of these false charges are based on confusion, misunderstanding, or memory loss, but other such charges are more villainous.
For example, someone who feels slighted or who believes he or she has been cheated on may make allegations related to dating violence or sexual assault as a means of retaliating against or getting even with the cheater. Someone who has anger for other reasons – real or imagined - may turn to sexually related allegations as a smear campaign against the individual, often an ex.
Even facing a sex-related charge without a conviction can have dire social ramifications and should always be taken extremely seriously. It is important to note that a conviction can be life-altering and can include all the following consequences:
Serious jail time and significant fines
An end to your education
The inability to rent a home
The inability to obtain a home loan
Decreased employment opportunities
A loss in social standing
Placement on the sex offender registry
Bringing your own (or your child’s) strongest defense is always well-advised.