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Addressing Campus Sexual Assault at the Beginning of the School Year

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hartford defense lawyerThe first few months of the school year are sometimes referred to as the “red zone” for sexual assaults on college campuses. More than 50 percent of campus sexual assaults occur during this time. There are a variety of reasons why more assaults may occur at the beginning of the school year, including the common use of alcohol by students as they enjoy living away from their parents’ homes. In 2021, this is an issue that may not only affect first-year students but also others who were unable to attend college in person over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why Students May Commit Sexual Assault Without Realizing it

Attitudes about consent have changed in recent years. In the past, sexual assault prevention efforts were often focused on what victims could do to prevent being assaulted, such as being aware of their alcohol use, avoiding provocative outfits, or ensuring that a friend is close by. However, advocates have begun to focus on preventing assaults by ensuring that people obtain consent before engaging in sexual conduct. 

However, even with these changing attitudes, some students may engage in behavior that may be considered assault without realizing it. In many cases, this is due to a culture that treats sex as something that is too embarrassing to discuss while presuming that men are meant to be sexually aggressive and that women have the responsibility to decide whether to engage in sexual activity. Without the proper education regarding appropriate behavior and attitudes toward sex, students may follow their instincts or bow to peer pressure, leading to situations where one person may pressure another into sex, commit unwanted touching or groping, or engage in sexual conduct with a person who is unable to provide consent.

Sexual Assault Laws in Connecticut

The laws in Connecticut recognize several different degrees of sexual assault. Many of the most serious cases will involve charges of first-degree sexual assault in which a person uses force or the threat of force to compel a person to engage in sexual intercourse. This offense is usually charged as a Class B felony. 

In many cases, campus sexual assault cases will involve less serious charges, although a conviction can still lead to significant consequences, including fines, a prison sentence, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Second-degree sexual assault charges may apply if a person allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a person who was physically helpless, such as someone who was unconscious after drinking alcohol or using drugs. This offense is usually charged as a Class C felony. Fourth-degree sexual assault charges may apply if a person allegedly engaged in sexual contact other than intercourse with a person who was physically helpless. This offense is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor.

Contact Our Hartford Sexual Assault Charges Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of sexual assault, the Woolf Law Firm, LLC can help you determine your options for defending against these types of charges. We will make sure you understand the specific offenses that may apply in your case, the evidence against you, and the steps you can take to demonstrate your innocence. Contact a Connecticut sexual assault defense lawyer at 860-290-8690 to set up your complimentary consultation.

Source:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/29/how-college-guys-unwittingly-commit-sexual-assault/

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