What if I have been accused of sexual violence?

If you have been accused of sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating/domestic violence or stalking, there are campus services available to help you understand your rights and the investigation and adjudication processes. Respondent Services Coordinators have been appointed to assist any students, staff members, or faculty who have been accused of sexual violence.  They can:

  • Help you understand your rights
  • Explain and help you navigate the investigation and adjudication processes, including formal hearings
  • Refer you to campus and community resources, such as for psychological counseling, legal services (including help understanding and complying with protection orders), alternative housing, academic changes and other needs

It is important to note that the Respondent Services Coordinators are not legally required to maintain confidentiality. However, as a general practice, they will request signed consent from you before disclosing personally identifiable information.

Respondent Services Coordinators

Additional Information for Students

Referral to the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs

UC Davis Conduct policies and procedures for adjudicating cases of alleged sexual violence and sexual harassment cases may be found in Appendix F of the Administration of Student Discipline at http://sja.ucdavis.edu/files/asd.pdf.

If you are a student and have been accused of sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment, unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking, you will receive a Notice of Charges from the University’s Title IX Officer and the Director of the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs (OSSJA). OSSJA will contact you by e-mail to schedule an initial meeting to ensure that you understand the process and your rights. Information on your rights and options can also be found below or downloaded.  

Process for Adjudicating Cases of Alleged Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment for Students

The process for investigating and resolving charges of alleged sexual violence and sexual harassment is completed in three stages: Investigation, Decision, and Appeal

Stage One: Investigation

A University Investigator will contact you to schedule an interview.   While you are not obligated to participate in the investigation, the University will reach findings and issue a decision about the charges and impose disciplinary sanctions, if appropriate, based on the investigation report.

You may choose to speak with the investigator, give a personal statement, and answer questions; however, participating in the investigation does not mean that you have to give a personal statement.  The investigation is the opportunity to provide all relevant information, respond to information submitted by the other party, identify potential witnesses, and submit questions for the investigator to ask the complainant or others.

At the end of the investigation, the University will notify you of the investigation findings and provide you with a copy of the investigation report.

Stage Two: Decision

After the conclusion of the Investigation, OSSJA will review the report and decide whether to accept the recommendations of the Investigator.  Prior to sending a decision, you will have an opportunity to meet with OSSJA and/or submit written comments to OSSJA about the findings and the report.  After ten business days, the Director of OSSJA will send a decision letter to you.  If found in violation of University policy, the Director will also assign disciplinary sanctions. 

 Disciplinary sanctions, if assigned, will be issued according to the University’s Standards for Disciplinary Sanctions for Student Cases of Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment.  See Appendix G of the UC Davis Administration of Student Discipline.

Stage Three: Appeal

Either party has the right to appeal the decision and sanctions, if any.  You will have ten business days following the decision letter to submit an appeal identifying the reasons why you are challenging the outcome.  The Appeal must be based on one or more of the following grounds: 

  • There was procedural error in the process that materially affected the outcome, such as the investigation was not fair, thorough or impartial;
  • The decision was unreasonable based on the evidence;
  • There is new material or information that was unknown and/or unavailable at the time the decision was made that should affect the outcome;
  • The disciplinary sanctions were disproportionate to the findings.

 If an appeal is submitted, any disciplinary sanctions will be postponed pending the outcome of the appeal. An Appeal Hearing Officer will review the appeal and determine the appropriate scope and nature of a hearing to consider the matter.    Following the Appeal Hearing, the Appeal Hearing Officer may affirm OSSJA’s decision, modify the decision or overturn the decision.

 If the Appeal Hearing Officer affirms OSSJA’s decision, there are no further appeal rights.   If the Appeal Hearing Officer modifies or overturns the decision, either party may submit a written appeal on limited grounds.  

Summary

 The University’s procedures for sexual harassment and sexual violence will: 

  • Provide a prompt, fair and impartial investigation and resolution.
  • Be conducted by officials who have received annual training on how to conduct an investigation, and conduct a proceeding in a trauma-informed manner
  • The investigation will be conducted within 50 business days or less, unless there are mitigating circumstances in which case both the complainant and respondent shall be notified and provided with an explanation.
  • Be conducted using the preponderance of the evidence standard.
  • Allow a ten business day period in which the complainant and respondent may comment on the investigation report in person and/or in writing prior to a decision by the Office of Student Support and Judicial Affairs.

 Both the complainant and the respondent have the right to: 

  • Opt not to participate, or to discontinue participation, in the process. However, the University may still investigate, reach a conclusion as to whether there has been a violation of policy and assess sanctions, or take other action to maintain a safe community.
  • Be accompanied by a support person and an advisor of their choice, including an attorney, at any stage of the process.
  • Have an opportunity to present information, respond to information submitted by the other party, and identify witnesses who may have relevant information.
  • Be provided with a copy of the completed investigation report.
  • Comment on the investigation report in person and/or in writing.
  • Be informed in writing of the outcome of any disciplinary action.
  • Be informed of the procedures and deadline for appealing the outcome.
  • Be informed of any change to the results that occurs prior to the time they become final.
  • To be informed of when such results become final.

 When the reported conduct also constitute criminal conduct, you may wish to seek legal counsel before making any written or oral statements, and seek advice about how your participation in a campus administrative process could affect any criminal case in which you might become involved.