Sexual Assault / Rape Prevention
Rape is a first-degree felony; it consists of sexual intercourse by force, threat of force, or with a person unable to give consent or unaware that the sexual intercourse is occurring.
Sexual assault is a second-degree felony; it consists of non-consensual sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse includes vaginal, anal, or oral sex. There must be some penetration however slight, but ejaculation is not necessary
AGGRAVATED INDECENT ASSAULT
This is a second-degree felony and consists of penetration of the genitals or anus with any part of the offender's body without consent.
The unwanted touching of intimate parts of the body is known as indecent assault. This is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor.
Department of Campus Safety - Telephone 484-664-3110 for 24-hour emergency assistance. The Director of Campus Safety can advise victims of sex offenses about legal reporting requirements and procedures. You may also notify local police; the Department of Campus Safety can assist you at your request.
- Dean of Students Office – Telephone 484-664-3182 for assistance.
- The Department of Campus Safety and the Dean of Students Office will conduct on-campus investigations and disciplinary proceedings when applicable.
- Residential Services Staff – Telephone 484-664-3180
All of these reports may be reported for statistical purposes, and in some circumstances, may lead to notification of the College community.
Rape and Sexual Assault can be committed by a stranger, acquaintance, close friend, relative, date, or spouse. Alcohol or other drug use can impair an individual's ability to give consent. Therefore a person whose judgment has been impaired by drugs or alcohol may be incapable of legally recognizable consent. The penalties range from up to two years imprisonment for indecent assault to imprisonment for up to ten years for sexual assault and twenty years for rape, in addition to fine and restitution. The statute of limitations for reporting rape, sexual assault, and aggravated indecent assault is five years and two years for reporting indecent assault.
In addition to the above, Muhlenberg College also prohibits sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Rape is a significant problem on college campuses across the nation, where most victims are acquainted assailants. A major research study has shown that one in eight college women is the victim of rape during college years, while one in four is the victim of an attempted rape. The effects of rape on these student victims can be devastating, creating emotional trauma-related difficulties, consequently, disrupting or ending their academic careers.
Muhlenberg College offers programs and training to promote awareness and/or prevention of rape, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses. First year student orientation includes a program on sex offenses. During the year, programs on date rape, self defense and assertiveness are offered through formal residence hall programming, through Pledge Plus for Greek students, and at supplemental programs sponsored by Campus Safety and other offices. Training in awareness of, sensitivity to, and procedures to follow upon receiving a report of a sexual offense is provided to appropriate college staff. The OCS also has a safety pamphlet available to all students, which specifically addresses how to report a sexual assault and the assistance available from the OCS and Counseling Center.
The OCS should be contacted to report a sexual assault, although a student may first choose to contact the local police. If Campus Safety is contacted, we will first assure the student's medical and psychological needs are addressed and then assist the student in any further process the student wishes to follow. This might include notification of the local police, as well as medical and counseling professionals. The student will also be provided assistance in changing academic and living arrangements precipitated by the assault if requested by the victim and if the changes are reasonably available.
Muhlenberg College provides four options for reporting a sex offense. An individual may choose to use one or more of the following to report the incident:
- Informal Report of Violation of Students Rights at Muhlenberg. These reports are filed through the Counseling Center and remain confidential and may not lead to formal investigation or disciplinary action. If the College determines an offense filed in this manner may present a threat to the members of the campus community, it may take appropriate steps to investigate and/or report the offense. The number of Informal reports and their nature are reported to the OCS for statistical purposes.
- Jane Doe Report filed with the Campus Safety office. These reports are designed to provide the victim with the opportunity to document the sex offense. These reports do not lead to an investigation or formal disciplinary actions against the offender. The OCS does send notification informing the campus community of these offenses. The victim is advised of the options available to them.
- Formal College Judicial Complaint These reports are filed with the Dean of Student's Office and/or Campus Safety. These reports are followed by an investigation and/or formal disciplinary action against the offender.
- Formal Criminal Complaint. Filed with the Allentown Police Department.
- Remain calm and alert
- Get to a safe place: your room, a friend's room, your RA's room or the Campus Safety office in Prosser Hall
- Because physical evidence is of the utmost importance:
- DO NOT change your clothing
- DO NOT shower, bathe or douche
- DO NOT apply medication to any injuries you may have sustained unless absolutely necessary
- DO NOT disturb anything in the area where the assault occurred, if in an area where you have control
- IF you do change clothing, place all clothing worn at the time of the offense in a PAPER BAG, NOT a plastic one
- Make certain to get MEDICAL ATTENTION, even if you need time to deal with the situation before reporting the crime to college officials or to the police
- Call someone to be with you - a friend, sorority sister, a family member - someone with whom you are close.
- Call your local rape crisis center (CRIME VICTIMS COUNCIL OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY 610-437-6611). Many centers have counselors who will accompany you to your medical examination and sit with you while you talk to the police.
- Write down as much as you can remember about the circumstances of the rape and the individual(s) involved
Rape, regardless of the offender, is dehumanizing and can cause a variety of emotional problems. Be sure to seek counseling and emotional support from the college counseling center (x3178), or the local rape crisis hotline (610-437-6611).
The following Pastoral and/or Professional Counselors are available to provide assistance for reports of sex offenses. These informal reports are designed to be treated with appropriate confidentiality and not to lead to formal disciplinary action against the offender, unless the accuser decides to report the incident as described in the following section. Reports to pastoral and professional counselors are not required to be reported in the College’s Crime Statistics.
- Counseling Center
- Health Center
- Catholic Chaplain
- Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART)
- Hillel Director
The Counseling Center can be contacted for emotional support and counseling on campus. For off campus counseling and emotional support contact the Crime Victim Council (a 24 hour hotline) at 610-437-6611.
Individuals alleged to have violated the Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct Policy would be subject to the Rules and Procedures Governing Alleged Violations of Muhlenberg College's Student Code of Conduct, which are found in the Student Policy and Information Guide.
In addition to all other rights afforded to the accused/accuser in all other campus disciplinary proceedings, the following rights are afforded to both the accused/accuser of a sexual offense: entitled to the same opportunities to have others present during a disciplinary hearing; and both shall be informed of the final determination of any campus disciplinary proceeding brought alleging a sex offense and any sanction that is imposed against the accused. In a disciplinary hearing regarding a sexual offense, the accused and accuser may also request an opportunity to make a statement regarding the impact of the allegations on them and to be separated from each other during the hearing.
Any one or more of the following sanctions (Section IX of Rules and Procedures Governing Alleged Violations of Muhlenberg College’s Student Code of Conduct ) may be recommended for violations of the College's Student Code of Conduct, including sex offenses:
- Administrative Warning
- Constructive or Educational Task
- Disciplinary Probation
- Minor Restitution
- Major Restitution
Muhlenberg College seeks to foster a campus environment that is conducive to its students and staff members' academic pursuits and spirit of community. Sex offenses seriously disrupt the campus environment and threaten the well being of members of the campus community.
A sex offense is specifically defined as (1) any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly and/or against that person's will or in circumstances in which that person is incapable of giving consent or (2) unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse. Sex offenses include forcible rape, forcible sodomy, forcible fondling, forcible sexual assault with an object, incest, and statutory rape.
Muhlenberg College will not tolerate any conduct that constitutes a sex offense. In addition to violating Muhlenberg College's Student Code of Conduct as set forth in the Student Policy and Information Guide, certain sex offenses constitute violations of state and/or federal criminal law.
Muhlenberg will not tolerate any retaliation against any individual for reporting sex offenses in accordance with this policy.
Muhlenberg College offers programs and training to promote the awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, and other sex offenses. First-year student orientation includes a program on potential dangers in their new community, which includes many types of sexual offenses and the reporting of a sexual offense. During the year, programs on date rape, self-defense and assertiveness are offered through formal residence hall programming, through new member Greek orientation training, and at supplemental programs sponsored by the Department of Campus Safety and other offices. Training in awareness of, sensitivity to, and procedures to follow upon receiving a report of a sexual offense is provided to appropriate college staff.
In keeping with the federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the Department of Campus Safety maintains records provided by the Allentown Police Department from the Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law Section of registered sex offenders who have indicated that they are employed or enrolled at or reside within 1000 feet of Muhlenberg College. Any member of the College community who wishes to review these records should contact the Director of Campus Safety Monday through Friday during normal business hours. Pursuant to the provisions of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law, the State Police have established an online listing to provide timely information to the public on Sexually Violent Predators residing in the Commonwealth.
For further information concerning crimes for which convicted offenders must register or regarding additional access to records of registered sex offenders, contact the Pennsylvania State Police, Megan’s Law Section by telephone at 1-866-771-3170 or via the internet at http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us
Sexually Violent Predators are sex offenders, convicted on or after July 8, 2001, who have been determined by the court, after evaluation by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to likely engage in sexually violent behaviors.
Information on this specific class of sex offenders is available to the public for notification purposes at the Pennsylvania State Police web site: http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us click on the link “SVP Listing”. In the event that the college is made aware of a known Sexual Violent Predator living on or adjacent to the campus, the campus community will be notified in a timely manner.