Counseling Services

Reporting Options for Sexual Misconduct Cases

Through the University

The University will investigate every allegation of sexual misconduct reported to the University police department, to a staff member in the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, or to the Title IX Coordinator/executive director of Human Resources. Accusations will be addressed through the detailed processes outlined in the Rights and Responsibilities section of the Student Handbook found under the heading Harassment and Discrimination. The question asked in a campus investigation/Equity Grievance process: Is it more likely than not that the accused violated a University policy, rule, or regulation? If so, what is the appropriate response by the institution?

The Criminal Prosecution Process

If a survivor chooses to file a report with the University police department, the initial responding officer will interview the survivor to obtain facts surrounding the incident. A detective will follow up with a more detailed interview with the survivor. If the assault took place within 96 hours, the detective will encourage the survivor to undergo a forensic exam for the collection of evidence that will allow a more thorough investigation to take place. (A University police department officer and/or the Butler Victim Advocate will accompany the survivor to the hospital if requested.) The detective will also promote the availability of counseling.

If a suspect is immediately arrested or if a warrant can be issued for a suspect, the case will be forwarded to a court where it will be assigned to a sex crimes prosecutor. If there is no immediate arrest the case will be referred to a prosecutor to determine if there is probable cause for criminal charges. Once a prosecutor is assigned, the survivor will have less interaction with the detective and the prosecutor will become the lead person as the prosecution phase continues.  However, the survivor should always consider the University police department detective a good resource if questions develop.

The criminal process determines if, beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused violated any local or state laws. If criminal proceedings occur, the survivor may be required to testify at a deposition hearing in front of the prosecuting and defense attorney. The survivor may also be required to testify in open court if the case were to go to trial. The entire criminal justice process could last up to one year.

It is in the best interest of the survivor to consider the following if she or he might enter a criminal complaint.

  • After the assault, do not shower, douche, eat, drink, brush teeth, or smoke.
  • Do not wash clothing or bedding as it may be collected for forensic evidence purposes. Make sure that these items are placed in a paper bag (not plastic) if collected as evidence.
  • Know who you may have discussed the incident with prior to contacting the police.
  • Be prepared to speak about contact history with the accused.