State Legislatures Coming Down on Campus Rapes in California Universities

Although the topic of campus rape has made national headlines, the state of California is no doubt the most aggressive when it comes to addressing sexual assault on campuses.  Last month, California Attorney General Kamala Harris and University of California President Janet Napolitano released a Model Memorandum of Understanding on Campus Sexual Assault (“Model MOU”) which serves as a guide for college campuses and law enforcement agencies to facilitate better coordination in dealing with campus sexual assault cases.  The Model MOU is intended to help campuses comply with A.B. 1433, which was signed into law last October 2014.  A.B. 1433 requires colleges to report certain violent crimes (e.g. sexual assault and hate crimes), occurring on or near campus, to local law enforcement, with the permission of the victim.  Prior to A.B. 1433, Governor Jerry Brown also signed into law S.B. 967 (“Yes Means Yes law”) in September 2014.  That law requires California universities that receive public funding to require students to get “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.

Going further, as of present, the state of California also has a “college campus sexual assault assembly package” coming down the pipeline. The package consists of 3 bills aimed at California state schools which receive public funding:

  • A.B. 967– This bill was introduced by Senate pro tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) in April and would set a minimum of two years academic suspension for students found responsible for rape and forcible sex acts. The bill passed the assembly 62-4 and is currently headed to the state Senate. It should be noted that while this bill imposes punishments that should be doled out by school disciplinary boards, school boards operate independently of the criminal justice system.  You could in theory, be punished under both and receive suspension/expulsion and jail time under California Penal Code 261.  Opponents of this bill are concerned that different boards operate differently as well, with school punishments ranging from community service to expulsion.
  • A.B. 968 This bill requires academic transcripts to reflect suspension or expulsion (although not the reason for punishment).
  • A.B. 969 – This bill clarifies existing statute to allow California Community Colleges (CCC) to suspend or expel a student for conduct that threatened the safety of students and/or the public that occurs off campus.  Additionally, it would require those students that were dismissed due to sexual assault to disclose that in another college application.

San Diego Sexual Assault Attorney

The Law Offices of David M. Boertje handles all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, including juvenile ones.  We are dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights and freedom, and have successfully represented many defendants, including those that have been charged with sexual assault, sex crimes, and rape.  Being accused with a sexual assault crime is a big deal.  A simple mistake or miscommunication with who you thought was a consenting adult could severely limited your education and future, as well as your freedom.  If you have been accused of sexual assault, contact attorney David Boertje today for a free consultation.