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Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Charges on Maryland College Campuses

Sexual harassment or misconduct allegations are very serious, especially on college campuses where there might be academic repercussions in addition to criminal charges. Below, a Maryland student defense lawyer discusses sexual harassment or misconduct allegation on Maryland college campuses and what you should do if accused.

Situations Precluding Sexual Harassment Or Misconduct Allegations

Common situations that lead to sexual harassment or misconduct allegations might include activities that start online. On social media, there are interactions between students on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram where a person is simply haunting another party, or harassing them through social media mechanisms. These could include things such as “revenge pornography” where pictures and/or videos are being posted of another party in an attempt to embarrass or harass them. These kinds of allegations sometimes progress from what happens online into actual physical interactions.

For example, there could be interactions on campus at a party, in a dorm room, or even in a classroom where an individual is harassing or bothering another person to the point where the person is not comfortable. The person may feel this interaction is sexual misconduct and is violating their rights to privacy and safety while on campus.

Harassment And Misconduct In Sexually Related Charges Or Allegations On Maryland College Campuses

Harassment and misconduct are anything that makes a person uncomfortable when they are being harassed by another individual. Generally speaking, the courts describe harassment where someone is being annoyed or being made to feel uncomfortable by another party. That behavior continues even though the individual has asked the person to stop the harassment and they are not comfortable with this behavior continuing. Harassment is any course of conduct that continues to violate or annoy another person. The individual alleged to have been harassing another party has been told to stop or has been made aware that it is making the other party uncomfortable.

Campus Personnel Involved In Sexual Harassment/Misconduct Cases

Individuals involved in sexual harassment or misconduct cases include those who regulate the location where the incident took place. They could include university police officials or Resident Advisors in any kind of dorm where students reside.

Every university has a student conduct committee that includes two branches. There are student conduct committees that handle things such as cheating or allegations of plagiarism, and there are student conduct committees that handle safety issues on campus and are usually associated with criminal activities. In other words officials that are most often involved are usually university police or officials associated with general conduct on campus.

What To Avoid After a Sexual Harassment or Misconduct Charge

One of the first things that any individual should do upon being investigated or charged is to speak with an attorney immediately. Even if the investigation has not gone to the police and remains a university matter, it is important to talk to an attorney right away for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, an investigation the university conducts may be turned over to local authorities. The information that is shared with university officials could be used against an individual in a criminal court, even though it is not obtained by someone who is part of the criminal investigation. So, it is important that an individual not speak to any university officials or the police until he or she contacts an attorney.

The second reason for talking to an attorney is that with these kinds of allegations, even if they remain on campus and do not involve external authorities like police departments, the allegations could affect the person’s university records. This could include information that is reported on transcripts which means, with job applications and for applications to obtain professional licenses after graduate school, this information could be reported and affect the person’s future. It is extremely important to speak with an attorney before making any statements or participating in any investigations at the university. This will protect the student’s rights and future from any criminal reporting that might result.