Student Handbook - Sexual Misconduct

Examples of Sexual Assault

Angela and Aaron have been in an ongoing relationship for a year-and-a-half and have engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. One night while becoming intimate, Angela stops and says she doesn’t feel like having sex that night. Aaron continues to touch her, saying that she got him excited and it wasn’t fair of her to lead him on like that. Again Angela tells him she does not want to have sex, and then is silent. Aaron decides she has given in, and proceeds to have sexual intercourse with her. This is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Sexual Assault). Aaron had sexual intercourse with Angela against her will. The fact that Angela has freely consented to sexual intercourse with Aaron in the past does NOT mean he has her consent in this situation.

Andrew and Felix have been flirting with each other all night at a party. Around 12:30 a.m., Felix excuses himself to find a bathroom. Andrew notices Felix slurring his speech. Andrew wonders if Felix went to the bathroom to vomit. When Felix returns, the two begin flirting more heavily and move to a couch. As the conversation continues, the two become more relaxed and more physically affectionate. Andrew soon suggests they go back to his room, and Felix agrees. As they walk down the stairs, Andrew notices that Felix looks unstable and offers his arm for support and balance. When they get back to his room, Andrew leads Felix to the bed and they begin to become intimate. Felix becomes increasingly passive and appears disoriented. Andrew soon begins to have sexual intercourse with him. The next morning, Felix thinks they had sex but cannot piece together the events leading up to it. This is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Sexual Assault). Felix was clearly under the influence of alcohol and thus unable to freely consent to engage in sexual activity with Andrew. Although Andrew may not have known how much alcohol Felix had consumed, he saw indicators from which a reasonable person would conclude that Felix was intoxicated, and therefore unable to give consent. Andrew in no way obtained consent from Felix.

Erin is talking to several of her friends in the hallway at a crowded party. Ryan, a student she knows from chemistry class, comes up behind her and places his arms around her waist. She says hi to Ryan and continues her conversation. After a while, she realized that Ryan has moved his hands up to her breasts. She turns to him and tells him to stop, saying she doesn’t want to be touched in that way and that he should have more respect for her. He laughs, tells her she takes herself too seriously, and again begins to grope her. This is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Sexual Misconduct). Ryan touched Erin in a sexual way without her consent, and continued to do so after she told him to stop. This behavior is a form of sexual misconduct.

Liz and Tom have been together for six months. She often tells her friends stories of Tom’s sexual prowess, and decided to prove it to them. One night, she and Tom engage in consensual sexual intercourse. Without Tom’s knowledge, Liz sets up her digital camera to videotape them having sex. The next evening, she uploads the video to an online video-sharing site and discusses it with her friends online. This is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Sexual Exploitation). Tom’s consent to engage in sexual intercourse with Liz did NOT mean Liz had obtained his consent to videotape it. This is a form of sexual exploitation.

John and Myra have been intimate for a several days. One night, Myra calls John and asks him to come over. When he arrives, Myra kisses John passionately and leads him into the bedroom. They each express their excitement and desire to “hook up,” and are soon making out heavily in Myra’s bed. After a while, John tries to engage in oral sex with Myra. Myra tells John that she really likes him, but that she doesn’t feel ready for that. John tells Myra she’s just being shy, and ignores her when she repeats that she doesn’t feel ready. John then accuses her of leading him on. Eventually, John proceeds with oral sex. This is a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy. Because of John’s repeated efforts to convince her with manipulative and threatening arguments, Myra was afraid and unable to freely give her consent. John did not receive consent from Myra and has committed sexual misconduct.


(Adopted from Duke University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy)


Pat and Sam have an interest in each other but have never become intimate because Sam has a boyfriend back home. One night Pat and Sam meet at a party and begin making out on the dance floor. Eventually Sam invites Pat back to the dorm room where they have consensual intercourse. Sam’s roommate enters the room and finds Sam and Pat in bed. Sam is distraught over the roommate finding them and fears that Sam’s boyfriend back home may find out. Sam contacts the RA and claims there was no consent. This is NOT a violation of the Sexual Misconduct Policy.