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Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is prohibited by the Nicholls Code of Student Conduct. The code lists in section 1.7 under Acts Constituting Sanctionable Misconduct: “Sexual offenses, including offensive touching (sexual battery), nonconsensual intercourse (rape) and intercourse with a person who is incapable of giving consent due to some form of intoxication or who is otherwise incapable of giving consent.” If a student is found guilty of sexual assault, one or more sanctions may be imposed up to and including permanent dismissal from the university. Details of possible sanctions can be found in the Nicholls Code of Student Conduct.

Rape is generally defined in Louisiana as “the act of anal or vaginal sexual intercourse with a male or female person committed without the person’s lawful consent.” Louisiana defines and provides penalties for various types of rape. These definitions vary on the degree of physical violence related to the crime, the victim’s age and/or the diminished mental capacity of the victim such as by intoxication.

Sexual harassment is yet another form of sexual assault and is treated under a separate set of policies and procedural guidelines. (Refer to the Nicholls Code of Student Conduct).

Sanctions

The discipline sanctions may be applied to any student who commits or attempts to commit, either singly or in concert with others, any act which constitutes sexual assault, whether the act took place on university property or in connection with any university authorized activity. Not-withstanding any action taken by civil authorities on account of the violation, the accused student may be immediately suspended from the university, if such a violation causes that student to be a clear and present danger or threat to the university community.

Assault Involving Intoxication

It is important to note that the intoxication of the person accused of sexual assault is not an acceptable defense. Rape is rape, whether or not the rapist was intoxicated at the time. Furthermore, even if the victim was intoxicated, she should not hesitate to bring charges against the attacker. Under the law, her state of intoxication made her incapable of giving consent, in which case, sexual intercourse with her constituted rape.

Disciplinary Hearing

In a disciplinary hearing relating to a sexual assault, both the accuser and the accused have the right to appear at the hearing alone or with an attorney, adviser or friend.When the disciplinary hearing involves sexual assault, both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings.

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