Sexual Offenses Defined
The Clery Act defines a forcible sexual offense as a crime which occurs when a person causes another person to engage in sexual activity either by force or the threat of force and/or against the person’s will. The activity is also considered a forcible sexual offense when the victim is incapable of giving consent. Forcible sexual offenses include rape (as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, Subsection 3121 and 3124.1), forcible sodomy (involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, Subsection 3123), sexual assault with an object (involuntary indecent sexual intercourse as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, Subsection 3123 and aggravated indecent assault as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, Subsection 3125) and forcible fondling (indecent assault as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, Subsection 3126 ).
Non-forcible sexual offenses are defined as unlawful, non-forcible sexual intercourse and include incest (as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, subsection 4302) and statutory rape (Statutory Sexual Assault as set forth in PA Crimes Code Title 18, Subsection 3122.1).
Pennsylvania law prohibits sexual misconduct not reportable under the Clery Act, such as indecent exposure and public indecency. These acts are included in this definition and the same investigative and disciplinary procedures will apply.
Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures
HACC maintains a zero tolerance stance on sexual offenses. Victims of sexual offenses are strongly encouraged to report the crime immediately to both police and campus Safety and Security. Immediate reporting will assist authorities in the preservation of evidence and the apprehension of the offender. Immediate reporting also facilitates college and law enforcement authorities in assisting the victim of a sexual offense in getting any help they need to recover.
- Upon report of a sexual offense to the Safety and Security Department, officers will:
- Confidentially interview the victim and any witnesses to ascertain the facts of the case.
- Make every effort to ensure that evidence is preserved.
- Advise the victim to seek immediate medical attention and ensure the victim promptly receives medical attention if they so wish.
- Strongly advise the victim to report the incident to the police. Safety and Security officers are required to contact the police for the victim upon request. Safety and Security officers and College officials will fully cooperate with the police investigation.
- Advise the victim and witnesses of college and community counseling and crisis services.
If the victim consents, the complaint is referred to the campus dean of student affairs, who will conduct an investigation in partnership with the department of public safety and involved police investigators. If the accused is known or is discovered in this process, and the evidence supports the validity of the accusation, disciplinary action will be taken as outlined in HACC AP 592, which may be found in the Student Planner. Sanctions that the institution may impose following a final determination of an institutional disciplinary proceeding regarding any forcible or non-forcible sexual offense include disciplinary probation, suspension, assignment of restitution, no contact directives, requiring psychological evaluation and counseling, barring from college property and expulsion. Both the accuser and the accused have a right to have others (e.g. parent(s) and/or legal counsel) present during a College disciplinary hearing. Both the accuser and the accused will be informed of the rulings made in any College disciplinary hearing. The findings of the College disciplinary review and any disciplinary penalties imposed are separate from and independent of the rulings of the criminal court system and any penalties the courts may impose on the offender.
HACC recognizes that victims have a right to refuse police involvement and College disciplinary action. In this case, only anonymous, non-identifying information will be included in statistical disclosures or timely warning notices if a continuing threat to the college community exists.
HACC is obligated by law to provide victims of alleged sexual offenses with reasonable academic scheduling accommodation upon request. Advisors and counselors will actively work with victims to ensure they are not scheduled in any classes where they may come in contact with the offender.
- Should a student become the victim of a sexual offense, they should:
- Get to safety as soon as possible; do not stay where the crime occurred.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. This helps to preserve vital evidence as well as treat injuries.
- Do not remove clothing or bathe – this preserves evidence for the police and medical authorities.
- Report the crime to police and campus authorities. You will be taken seriously.
- Seek support. Contact a Rape Crisis Center or ask for assistance in doing so. Talk to family and friends about your feelings and fears.
Reasons to Report
Per the Arizona State University (ASU) Counseling & Psychological Services Center brochure, the following are reasons why victims should report the crime:
- Reporting within 72 hours of the assault will allow for valuable evidence to be collected. This increases the chances of apprehending and successfully prosecuting the suspect.
- Reporting the crime gives survivors a chance to regain personal control because they are taking action against the perpetrator.
- Reporting is empowering, because it gives survivors the opportunity to talk about what has happened.
- Reporting provides official documentation necessary for criminal prosecution or civil redress if survivors later choose to pursue that course of action.
- Reporting the crime will ensure that medical expenses, including a rape exam and costs for emergency care, may be paid by public compensation funds.
- Reporting the crime does not obligate the victim to pursue prosecution of a suspect.
- Reporting and prosecuting are essential to the prevention of sexual assault and the protection of other potential victims. Many rapists are repeat offenders. Survivors will be providing information on persons who may have hurt others and who may continue to hurt others.
- Reporting attests to the fact that numerous sexual assaults occur and that the crime will not be tolerated in silence.
The Safety and Security Department will work with any College organization to produce awareness and prevention programs to be presented in the classroom or as part of an organizational event. The department will also coordinate with outside organizations to ensure that any programs are up-to-date, informative and effective.
The student life staff at each campus periodically schedules presentations and informational sessions by outside rape and sexual assault prevention organizations. These presentations may be stand-alone events or included as part of another campus event. For more information on attending these events, contact the campus student life office.
HACC employs professional counselors trained in crisis intervention and personal counseling. Any member of the HACC community desiring these services may contact their campus counseling office to arrange an appointment.
Counseling Office (G102): ext. 113533
Student Life Office (G131): ext. 113536
Harrisburg Campus & Midtown 1 & 2
Counseling Office: 717-780-2498
Student Life Office: 717-780-2525
Counseling Office: 717-270-4222
Student Life Office: 717-270-6364
Counseling Office: 717-358-2988
Student Life Office: 717-358-2858
Counseling Office: ext. 513513
Student Life Office: ext. 513551
Megan’s Law\Sex Offender Registries
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania requires all individuals convicted of sexual offenses in Pennsylvania to register their address of residence and place of employment or study with the Pennsylvania State Police. This information is made available via the Internet so that the public may be aware when an offender is present in their community. For more information about the Pennsylvania Megan’s Law or to view the offender database, visit http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us.The U.S. Department of Justice maintains a national registry of sexual offenders compiled from each state’s registry. This database is accessible online at http://www.nsopw.gov.
Off -Campus Crisis Intervention and Community Resources
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape Crisis and Victim Assistance Hotline
Adams County/ Hanover Crisis Center
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 717-334-0468
After 5 p.m. 717-334-2121
Sexual Assault Hotline (Adams/Hanover)
717-334-9777 or 800-SUR-V106
Cumberland and Perry County Crisis Center
717-763-2222 or 717-243-6005
YWCA (Carlisle) Rape Crisis Hotline
Dauphin County Crisis Intervention (Harrisburg)
Rape Crisis Center (Harrisburg)
717-238-7273 or 800-634-1211
Lancaster County Crisis Intervention
Sexual Assault Hotline (Lancaster)
Lebanon County Crisis Intervention
Rape Hotline (Lebanon/Schuylkill)
York County Crisis Intervention
717-851-5320 or 800-673-2496
Rape and Victim Assistance (York)
717-854-3131 or 800-422-3204