The rise in the number of reported sexual assaults on college campuses has become a hot-button topic over the last few years. Unfortunately, it seems that too many prestigious universities and higher learning institutions, including those in Maryland, are discovering that their schools are not free from accusations of criminal activity. Allegations of sexual assault on a campus are usually investigated by local law enforcement agencies. This is then followed up by a university investigation.
Recently, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County expelled two students for allegedly violating the college's code of conduct for their alleged involvement in the reported rape of a female student on campus. The students were dismissed despite the fact that no formal charges were brought against them by local law enforcement officials, who could find no evidence of a crime.
The case began in December 2014 when a female student who was enrolled at the university filed a complaint with the Baltimore County Police Department stating that she believed that she was sexually assaulted by four male students in their dorm. The young woman admitted that she had gotten drunk the night the assault allegedly took place. The woman woke up the next morning in one of the male student's dorm room and could not remember anything. During the investigation the four male students admitted to authorities that they had sexual relations with the woman that night, but that the sex was consensual in nature.
All of the parties involved in the incident cooperated with the local authorities. After their investigation, the Baltimore County Police did not believe that there was enough evidence to bring charges against the four male students. The findings for the case were then sent to the Baltimore County State Attorney's Office who agreed with the findings of the police and chose not to file any charges.
But after disciplinary hearings that were held at the university, two of the students involved were convicted of violating the university's student code of conduct and dismissed. However, the university did not explain what areas of conduct the students had violated. They merely cited the confidentiality of federal privacy laws for college students.
As this shows, even if the police could find no wrongdoing, accusations of sexual assault can cost a person greatly. In situations like these, protecting one's reputation is of the utmost importance.
Source: The Washington Post, "2 expelled from Maryland school over sex assault allegations," March 12, 2015