Policy – Information Regarding Sex Offenses, Disciplinary Hearings and Information for Crime Victims
North Central Missouri College’s Student Code of Conduct prohibits sexually violent acts, termed “Sexual Misconduct,” which can be crimes as well. Sexual misconduct includes non-consensual sexual intercourse, non-consensual sexual contact, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, sex/gender-based staking and sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct can occur between strangers or acquaintances, including people involved in an intimate or sexual relationship. Sexual misconduct can be committed by any gender and it can occur between people of the same or different sex.
While NCMC may utilize different standards and definitions than Missouri code, sexual misconduct often overlaps with crimes of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence.
In an effort to reduce the risk of sexual misconduct as well as the crimes of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence and domestic violence occurring among its students, the College utilizes a range of campaigns, strategies and initiatives to provide awareness, educational, risk reduction and prevention programming. It is the policy of NCMC to offer programming to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking each year. Educational programs are offered to raise awareness for all incoming students and employees, and are often conducted during new student and new employee orientation and throughout an incoming student’s first semester. These programs and others offered throughout the year include strong messages regarding not just awareness, but also primary prevention (including normative messaging, environmental management and bystander intervention), and discuss institutional policies on sexual misconduct as well as the State of Missouri’s definitions of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and consent in reference to sexual activity. Bystander engagement is encouraged through safe and positive intervention techniques and by empowering third party intervention and prevention such as calling for help and/or identifying allies. Programs also offer information on risk reduction that strives to empower victims, how to recognize warning signals and how to avoid potential attacks, and do so without victim blaming approaches. Throughout the year, ongoing awareness and prevention campaigns are directed to students and employees. In the event that sexual misconduct, gender based violence or the crimes of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence do occur, NCMC takes the matter very seriously.
The College employs interim protection measures such as interim suspension and/or contact bans in any case where a student’s behavior represents a risk of violence, threat, pattern or predation.
If a student is accused of sexual misconduct, other gender based violence or the crimes of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence, s/he is subject to action in accordance with the NCMC Student Code of Conduct. A student wishing to officially report such an incident may do so by contacting the Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Kristen Alley, at 660-359-3948, ext. 1400 or visiting the Alexander Student Center, Office 12.
Anyone with knowledge about sexual misconduct or gender based violence or the crimes of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence is encouraged to report it immediately. If you are the victim of sexual misconduct, gender based violence or the crimes of rape, acquaintance rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, dating violence or domestic violence, some or all of these safety suggestions may guide you after an incident has occurred:
- Go to a safe place and speak with someone you trust. Tell this person what happened. If there is any immediate danger, contact the Trenton Police Department or call 911
- Consider securing immediate professional support (e.g.: counseling, victim advocacy, medical services, etc.) to assist you in the crisis
- If you are on campus during regular business hours, you may go to the Dean of Student Affairs in the Alexander Student Center for counseling referral, support and guidance.
- For your safety and well-being, immediate medical attention is encouraged. Further, being examined as soon as possible, ideally within 120 hours, is important in the case of rape or sexual assault. The hospital will arrange for a specific medical examination. To preserve evidence, it is recommended that you do not bathe, shower, douche, eat, drink, smoke, brush your teeth, urinate, defecate or change clothes before receiving medical attention. Even if you have already taken any of these actions, you are still encouraged to have prompt medical care, and evidence may still be recoverable. Typically, if police are involved or will be involved, they will obtain evidence from the scene, and it is best to leave things undisturbed. If you are involved in transmission of items of evidence, such as to the hospital, secure them in a clean paper bag or clean sheet, to avoid contamination.
- If you have physical injuries, photograph or have them photographed, with a date stamp on the photo. Record the names of any witnesses, and their contact information. This information may be helpful to the proof of a crime, to obtain an order of protection or to offer proof of a campus policy violation. Try to memorize details (physical description, names, license plate number, car description,), or write detailed notes if you have time and the ability to do so. If you obtain external orders of protection (e.g. restraining orders, injunctions, protection from abuse), please notify the Dean of Student Affairs or the campus Title IX Coordinator so those orders can be observed on campus.
- Even after the immediate crisis has passed, consider seeking support from the North Central Missouri Mental Health Center. Contact the Dean of Student Affairs if you need assistance with College-related concerns. The Dean will also assist in any needed advocacy for students who wish to obtain protective or restraining orders from local authorities.
- The College is able to offer reasonable academic accommodations, changes to living arrangements, and other supports and resources as needed by a victim.
Complainant: A person who alleges that he or she is the subject of sexual misconduct, or of retaliation related to the complaint or investigation thereof and can be an NCMC employee, student, volunteer, guest, visitor or third party affiliated with the institution.
Consent: An active process where there is clear and unmistakable voluntary agreement, expressed in mutually understandable words or actions, to engage in sexual activity. Silence or absence of resistance does not imply consent. Informed consent cannot be gained by force, coercion, threat, by ignoring or acting in spite of the objections of another, or by taking advantage of the incapacitation of another, where the respondent knows or reasonably should have known of such incapacitation. Informed consent is also absent when the activity in question exceeds the scope of informed consent previously given, i.e. past consent does not imply future consent. Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. In the state of Missouri, consent cannot be provided if the person lacks the mental capacity to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense and such mental incapacity is manifest or known to the actor; or it is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect, intoxication, a drug-induced state, or any other reason anyone under the age of seventeen cannot give informed consent.
In evaluating whether consent was given, consideration will be given to the totality of the facts and circumstances, including but not limited to the extent to which a complainant affirmatively uses words or actions indicating a willingness to engage in sexual contact, free from manipulation, intimidation, fear, or coercion; whether a reasonable person in the respondent’s position would have understood such person’s words and acts as an expression of consent; and whether there are any circumstances, known or reasonably apparent to the respondent, demonstrating incapacitation or fear.
Dating Violence: Violence committed by a person— (A) who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim; and (B) where the existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on a consideration of the following factors: (i) The length of the relationship; (ii) The type of relationship; (iii) The frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. If a dating relationship is asserted by the reporting party, the assumption of a dating relationship will be made. Missouri law does not specifically define dating violence, but conduct of this nature is covered by Missouri’s definitions of domestic violence and domestic assault.
Domestic Violence: Felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.
This would include the following categories:
- Incidents between persons who are spouses
- Incidents between persons who are former spouses
- Incidents between persons who have a child in common regardless of whether or not they have been married or have resided together in the past
- Incidents between persons (of any age) related by blood
- Incidents between persons (of any age) related by marriage, excluding spouses
- Incidents between persons, not married, but presently residing together
- Incidents between persons, not married, but who have resided together in the past
- Incidents between persons who are or have been in a continuing social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature
Missouri’s definition of domestic violence can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010. Under Missouri law, domestic violence also includes the crime of “domestic assault” which can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 565.072-565.074.
Force: Physical force, violence, threat, intimidation, or coercion.
Incapacitation: The physical and/or mental inability to make informed rational judgments. States of incapacitation include, without limitation, sleep, blackouts, flash-backs, when a person is unconscious, or because of an intellectual or other disability that prevents the person from having the capacity to give consent. A person can also be incapacitated due to the use of drugs or alcohol. Where alcohol or other drugs are involved, one does not have to be intoxicated or drunk to be considered incapacitated. Rather, incapacitation is determined by how the alcohol consumed impacts a person’s decision-making capacity, awareness of consequences, and ability to make informed decisions. The question is whether the respondent knew, or a sober, reasonable person in the position of the respondent should have known, that the complainant was incapacitated. Because incapacitation may be difficult to discern, students and employees are strongly encouraged to err on the side of caution; i.e., when in doubt, assume that another person is incapacitated and therefore unable to give consent. Being intoxicated or drunk is never a defense to a complaint of sexual misconduct under this policy.
Intimidation: Spoken or written words or other types of electronic communications, physical actions including gestures, or threats of retaliation that would cause a reasonable person to be put into fear or fear harm to property.
Respondent: A person whose alleged conduct is the subject of a complaint under this policy and can be an NCMC employee, student, volunteer, guest, visitor or third party affiliated with the institution.
Retaliation: Any adverse action, to include employment or educational action, taken against a person because of the person’s participation in a complaint or investigation of discrimination or sexual misconduct. Includes, but is not limited to, threat, intimidation, reprisals, and/or adverse actions related to employment or education.
Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature and includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, physical, visual, or digital conduct of a sexual nature when: (A) Submission to such conduct is made or threatened to be made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment or education; (B) Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used or threatened to be used as the basis for academic or employment decisions affecting that individual; or (C) Such conduct has the purpose or effect of substantially interfering with an individual’s academic or professional performance or creating what a reasonable person would perceive as an intimidating, hostile, or offensive employment, education, or living environment. Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, unwelcome conduct such as: (1) comments of a sexual nature, (2) sexually demeaning statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes, (3) display of sexually explicit materials in the workplace, (4) remarks about sexual activity or speculations about sexual experiences, and (5) whistling or other sexually explicit sounds or gestures. The more severe the conduct, the less need there is to show a repetitive series of incidents to prove a hostile environment, particularly if the harassment is physical.
Sexual Violence: Sexual violence is a particularly severe form of sexual harassment. Sexual violence includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity, because he or she is below the minimum age of consent in the applicable jurisdiction, or because of his or her incapacitation due to the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Other types of conduct may also constitute sexual violence. Examples of sexual violence include, but are not limited to, the following: (A) Rape or sexual assault: sexual intercourse (anal, oral, or vaginal) by a man or woman upon a man or woman without consent; (B) The use of force or coercion to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person who has not given consent; (C) Unwilling sexual penetration (anal, vaginal, or oral) or other sexual touching with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, intimidation, or otherwise without consent; (D) Having sexual intercourse with a person who is unconscious because of drug or alcohol use; (E) Hazing that involves penetrating a person’s vagina or anus with an object; (F) Sexual exploitation, which includes, but is not limited to, the following: sexual voyeurism, use of the “date rape drug” to effect sexual intercourse or some other form of sexual contact with a person, knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease such as HIV to another person through sexual activity, secretly videotaping or photographing sexual activity where the other party has not consented, disseminating sexual pictures or videos of another person without consent regardless if the pictures or videos were obtained with consent, or prostituting another person.
Stalking: Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to— (A) fear for his or her safety or the safety of others; or (B) suffer substantial emotional distress. Missouri’s definition of stalking can be found at Mo. Rev. Stat. § 455.010 and § 565.225. Cyberstalking is a form of stalking. Cyber-stalking is a pattern of threatening behaviors and unwanted advances directed from one individual to another over the Internet and other electronic, online and computer communications. It can involve, but is not limited to: threatening/obscene emails and text messages, online verbal abuse, and tracing a victim’s computer and internet activity.
Addressing Sexual Misconduct
Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Sexual Harassment and other acts of Sex and Gender Discrimination
Specific details and procedures outlining the investigation and resolution processes of the College can be found by accessing the NCMC Sexual Misconduct Policy, found online at: http://www.ncmissouri.edu/about/bot/manual/board_policy_manual.pdf. A paper copy can also be obtained by contacting the Dean of Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator (X1400). For offenses including sexual misconduct or other gender based violence, which typically include the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct and stalking, sanctions range from warnings through expulsion. Serious and violent incidents and acts of non‐consensual sexual intercourse (the policy equivalent to the crime of rape) usually result in suspension, expulsion or termination of employment.
An assault should be reported directly to the Trenton Police Department (660-359-2121) or local police department at the Outreach Site location. NCMC partners with North Central Missouri Mental Health Center to provide counseling. The Dean of Student Affairs/Title IX Coordinator can assist individuals in making contact with counseling services. There are no on-campus counseling services available.
Procedurally, when the College receives a report of sexual misconduct, gender‐based violence, or other sex or gender discrimination the campus Title IX Coordinator is notified. If the victim wishes to access local community agencies and/or law enforcement for support, the College will assist the victim in making these contacts. The Title IX Coordinator will offer assistance to victims in the form of interim or long‐term measures such as opportunities for academic accommodations, changes in housing for the victim or the responding student, visa assistance, changes in working situations and other assistance as may be appropriate and available on campus or in the community (such as no contact orders, campus escorts, transportation assistance, targeted interventions, etc). If the victim so desires, they will be connected with a counselor off‐campus, as well as off‐campus victim’s advocate. No victim is required to take advantage of these services and resources, but the College provides them in the hopes of offering help and support without condition or qualification. A summary of rights, options, supports and procedures, in the form of this document, is provided to all victims, whether they are a student, employee, guest or visitor. When appropriate upon receipt of notice, the Title IX Coordinator will cause a prompt, fair and impartial process to be initiated, commencing with an investigation which may lead to the imposition of sanctions, based upon a preponderance of evidence (what is more likely than not), upon a responding student or other accused individual.
The College acts to reasonably prevent its recurrence and the effects on the victim and the community are remedied. The Coordinator is responsible to assure that training is conducted annually for all investigators and hearing officers that encompasses a hearing process that protects the safety of victims and promotes accountability. Training will focus on sexual misconduct, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, sexual harassment, retaliation and other behaviors that can be forms of sex or gender discrimination covered by Title IX and Clery Act. Training will help those decisionmakers in the process to protect the safety of victims and to promote accountability for those who commit offenses.
The investigation and records of the resolution conducted by the College are maintained confidentially. Where information must be shared to permit the investigation to move forward, the person bringing the accusation will be informed. Privacy of the records specific to the investigation are maintained in accordance with Missouri law and the federal FERPA statute. Any public release of information to comply with the timely warning provisions of the Clery Act will not release the names of victims or information that could easily lead to a victim’s identification. Additionally, NCMC maintains privacy in relation to any accommodations or protective measures afforded to a victim, except to the extent necessary to provide the accommodations and/or protective measures.
Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights
In 1992, the United States Congress enacted the Campus Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights which was signed into law July of 1992. It states that:
- Accuser and accused will have the same opportunity to have others present.
- Both parties shall be informed of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding.
- Survivors shall be informed of their options to notify law enforcement.
- Survivors shall be notified of counseling services.
- Survivors shall be notified of options for changing academic and living situations.
In addition, the Missouri Constitution contains a crime victims Bill of Rights which states:
Missouri Constitution Article I
BILL OF RIGHTS
August 28, 2010
Crime victims’ rights.
Section 32. 1. Crime victims, as defined by law, shall have the following rights, as defined by law:
- The right to be present at all criminal justice proceedings at which the defendant has such right, including juvenile proceedings where the offense would have been a felony if committed by an adult;
- Upon request of the victim, the right to be informed of and heard at guilty pleas, bail hearings, sentencings, probation revocation hearings, and parole hearings, unless in the determination of the court the interests of justice require otherwise;
- The right to be informed of trials and preliminary hearings;
- The right to restitution, which shall be enforceable in the same manner as any other civil cause of action, or as otherwise provided by law;
- The right to the speedy disposition and appellate review of their cases, provided that nothing in this subdivision shall prevent the defendant from having sufficient time to prepare his defense;
- The right to reasonable protection from the defendant or any person acting on behalf of the defendant;
- The right to information concerning the escape of an accused from custody or confinement, the defendant’s release and scheduling of the defendant’s release from incarceration; and
- The right to information about how the criminal justice system works, the rights and the availability of services, and upon request of the victim the right to information about the crime.
2. Not with standing section 20 of article I of this Constitution, upon a showing that the defendant poses a danger to a crime victim, the community, or any other person, the court may deny bail or may impose special conditions which the defendant and surety must guarantee.
3. Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating a cause of action for money damages against the state, a county, a municipality, or any of the agencies, instrumentalities, or employees provided that the General Assembly may, by statutory enactment, reverse, modify, or supercede any judicial decision or rule arising from any cause of action brought pursuant to this section.
4. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a court to set aside or to void a finding of guilt, or an acceptance of a plea of guilty in any criminal case.
5. The general assembly shall have power to enforce this section by appropriate legislation.