Last month I blogged in great detail about a trend that the best Connecticut education and criminal lawyers are seeing regarding affirmative consent policies on Connecticut college colleges campuses, both private and public. The old slogans and campaigns of “No Means No” are no longer good law, nor are they policy on Connecticut high school and college campuses. And this past week, Connecticut’s House of Representatives voted 138-7 in favor of passing affirmative sexual consent legislation that would apply to all public and private universities. Under the proposed new law, in order to consent to sexual activity, affirmative consent—or more specifically—an “active, clear and voluntary agreement” to sexual activity must be communicated.
So, parents…what does this mean for our teenagers today and who’s going to educate them and keep them from getting arrested or expelled from their Connecticut college or university?
What is Affirmative Consent to Sex on Connecticut College Campuses?
The best Connecticut education school discipline and Title IX lawyers and attorneys who handle cases at Yale, UConn, Southern Connecticut, Wesleyan, Trinity and Quinnipiac have tried to drill down on exactly what conduct constitutes “affirmative consent” under the new Connecticut laws and school policies. Most school definitions require that the consent be an “active, clear and voluntary” agreement to the sexual contact. Under recently adopted Title IX and sexual misconduct policies in Connecticut, this means that it must be an express verbal communication of consent—not a text message, nor a verbal cue, nod of the head, or nonverbal consent to a less invasive form of conduct (such as kissing). And it must be a consent that does not involve alcohol or drugs. It must be a sober and crystal clear spoken “yes.”
Which begs the question that the best Connecticut college school discipline education attorneys and lawyers are frequently asked: How can my son prove that the sex was consensual under these new Connecticut affirmative sex consent laws and policies? Are they supposed to ask their sexual partner to sign a waiver form? Are they supposed to use their iPhone to video record the consent prior to hooking up? Are they supposed to Breathalyze their partner and print out the results, file it away and then start having sex?
Of course not! But this is how much these laws are going to complicate sex life on Connecticut campuses. Look, we all understand why these laws and rules are important. People—mostly women—are getting assaulted on campus more frequently and if there are no rules and accountability, more women will be assaulted, arrests will be made, campuses will be sued, and lives will be ruined. In fact, according to The New York Times, 1 in 5 girls will be the victim of a college sex assault (80 percent of those assaults will involve alcohol).
But as the best Connecticut school discipline lawyers and attorneys can explain, these new policies and laws levy a heavy burden on anyone accused of rape and sex assault on campus. Here’s how: someone accuses you or your child or rape at Yale, UConn, Quinnipiac, Fairfield University, Southern Connecticut or Trinity, and then the burden is now on you to prove it was consensual. Essentially you are guilty until proven innocent, and now subjected to life-changing consequences such as expulsion, or a Connecticut criminal sex assault arrest. That’s why it’s critical to get a top Connecticut college Title IX education lawyer attorney involved as soon as possible, and at the earliest stages of your child’s rape investigation. The best Connecticut college and university rape lawyers can begin controlling the narrative and digging deep into your accuser’s allegations, examining their social media, emails and text messages, and preserving critical evidence such as surveillance footage of the accuser’s drug or alcohol consumption.
Parents: Understand the Difference between Criminal Law & Campus Codes of Conduct
Parents of a Connecticut college student accused of rape need to appreciate that a college rape and sex assault investigation involves two moving parts: a criminal investigation and an internal school discipline investigation. The rules can be drastically different for each investigation, so as parents, you must make sure that your child’s participation in the Connecticut college discipline investigation does not compromise their interests or defenses in any criminal investigation (and vice versa). Colleges and universities either have their own police departments, or they work hand-in-hand with local law enforcement agencies. This means that everything your child says to the university during a Dean’s meeting or discipline hearing is not off the record and can and will be used against them. Be sure to follow this link to learn more about fighting school discipline hearings in Connecticut.
Contact a Connecticut College Sex Assault Lawyer Today
So if you or your teenager have been accused in Connecticut of a rape or sexual assault, then be sure to contact any of the Mark Sherman Law criminal attorneys to assist you and your family. When a sex assault or rape accusation is made at Yale, UConn, Quinnipiac, Southern Connecticut, Trinity or Wesleyan, you can be sure that these colleges and universities will be looking out for themselves. And you should be too. You can click here to read our former sex assault client reviews and feel free to contact us 24/7 at (203) 358-4700 for a consultation.