Auburn University - TITLE IX

Policies & Terms


State and Federal Laws and Definitions

Alabama Laws and Definitions

Alabama law entitles individuals who have been sexually assaulted to the following rights: Law enforcement often uses the word ‘victim’ (of a crime) and ‘survivor’ interchangeably. As a victim of a crime in Alabama, you have a constitutional right to be treated with fairness, respect, dignity and to be informed and present throughout the criminal justice process. All state, county and municipal justice agencies and courts in Alabama are required to perform certain duties to ensure that your rights are upheld. Some of these rights include:

  • A list of local emergency and crisis services;
  • The name and phone number of the officer and agency handling your report;
  • The procedural steps in a criminal prosecution;
  • The availability of victim’s compensation benefits;
  • A listing of your rights including a form to help you assert your rights;
  • The existence and eligibility requirements of restitution and compensation; and
  • A recommended procedure in case you are subjected to threats or intimidation as the survivor/complainant.

Some key definitions applicable to sexual assault, domestic/dating violence and stalking in the State of Alabama are listed below. These definitions from the Code of Alabama were current at the time of policy issuance. They may not be comprehensive of all Alabama laws applicable to sexual and gender-based harassment. Additional information on the current Code of Alabama can be found at www.legislature.state.al.us.

Sexual Intercourse
Occurs upon any penetration, however slight; emission is not required.

Deviate sexual intercourse
Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another.

Sexual contact
Any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person not married to the actor, done for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party

Mentally defective
A person suffers from a mental disease or defect which renders him incapable of appraising the nature of his conduct.

Mentally Incapacitated
A person is rendered temporarily incapable of appraising or controlling his conduct owing to the influence of a narcotic or intoxicating substance administered to him without his consent, or to any other incapacitating act committed upon him without his consent.

Physically helpless
A person is unconscious or for any other reason is physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act.

Forcible compulsion
Physical force that overcomes earnest resistance or a threat, express or implied, that places a person in fear of immediate death or serious physical injury to himself or another person.

Rape

A person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if:

  • He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion; or
  • He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; or
  • He or she, being 16 years or older, engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old.
Rape in the first degree is a Class A felony.

A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if:

  • Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.
  • He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective.
Rape in the second degree is a Class B felony.

Sodomy

A person commits the crime of sodomy in the first degree if:

  • • He engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion; or
  • • He engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated; or
  • • He, being 16 years old or older, engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is less than 12 years old.
Sodomy in the first degree is a Class A felony.

Rape in the first degree is a Class A felony.
A person commits the crime of rape in the second degree if:

  • Being 16 years old or older, he or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex.
  • He or she engages in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective.
Rape in the second degree is a Class B felony.

Sexual misconduct

A person commits the crime of sexual misconduct if:

  • Being a male, he engages in sexual intercourse with a female without her consent, under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-61 and 13A-6-62; or with her consent where consent was obtained by the use of any fraud or artifice; or
  • Being a female, she engages in sexual intercourse with a male without his consent; or
  • He or she engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under circumstances other than those covered by Sections 13A-6-63 and 13A-6-64. Consent is no defense to a prosecution under this subdivision.
Sexual misconduct is a Class A misdemeanor.

Sexual torture

A person commits the crime of sexual torture:

  • By penetrating the vagina or anus or mouth of another person with an inanimate object by forcible compulsion with the intent to sexually torture or to sexually abuse.
  • By penetrating the vagina or anus or mouth of a person who is incapable of consent by reason of physical helplessness or mental incapacity with an inanimate object, with the intent to sexually torture or to sexually abuse.
  • By penetrating the vagina or anus or mouth of a person who is less than 12 years old with an inanimate object, by a person who is 16 years old or older with the intent to sexually torture or to sexually abuse.
The crime of sexual torture is a Class A felony.

Sexual Abuse

A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the first degree if:

  • He subjects another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion; or
  • He subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated.
Sexual abuse in the first degree is a Class C felony.

A person commits the crime of sexual abuse in the second degree if:

  • He subjects another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 16 years old; or
  • He, being 19 years old or older, subjects another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old, but more than 12 years old.

Sexual abuse in second degree is a Class A misdemeanor, except that if a person commits a second or subsequent offense of sexual abuse in the second degree within one year of another sexual offense, the offense is a Class C felony.

Lack of Consent

Lack of consent results from:

  • Forcible compulsion; or
  • Incapacity to consent; or
  • If the offense charged is sexual abuse, any circumstances, in addition to forcible compulsion or incapacity to consent, in which the victim does not expressly or impliedly acquiesce in the actor's conduct.

A person is deemed incapable of consent if he is:

  • Less than 16 years old; or
  • Mentally defective; or
  • Mentally incapacitated; or
  • Physically helpless.

Domestic violence

A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the first degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-20 or aggravated stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-91, and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant.

Domestic violence in the first degree is a Class A felony, except that the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of one year without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits or any other reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection. The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (a) shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the first degree.

A person commits the crime of domestic violence in the second degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the second degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-21; the crime of intimidating a witness pursuant to Section 13A-10-123; the crime of stalking pursuant to Section 13A-6-90; the crime of burglary in the second or third degree pursuant to Sections 13A-7-6 and 13A-7-7; or the crime of criminal mischief in the first degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-21 and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant.

Domestic violence in the second degree is a Class B felony, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of six months without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection. The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (a) shall be double without consideration of probation, parole, good time credits, or any reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the second degree.

A person commits domestic violence in the third degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-22; the crime of menacing pursuant to Section 13A-6-23; the crime of reckless endangerment pursuant to Section 13A-6-24; the crime of criminal coercion pursuant to Section 13A-6-25; the crime of harassment pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 13A-11-8; the crime of criminal surveillance pursuant to Section 13A-11-32; the crime of harassing communications pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 13A-11-8; the crime of criminal trespass in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-4; the crime of criminal mischief in the second or third degree pursuant to Sections 13A-7-22 and 13A-7-23; or the crime of arson in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-7-43; and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant.

Domestic violence in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor. The minimum term of imprisonment imposed under subsection (a) shall be 30 days without consideration of reduction in time if a defendant willfully violates a protection order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction and in the process of violating the order commits domestic violence in the third degree. A second conviction under subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of 10 days in a city or county jail or detention facility without consideration for any reduction in time. A third or subsequent conviction under subsection (a) is a Class C felony. For purposes of determining second, third, or subsequent number of convictions, convictions in municipal court shall be included.

Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation

  • Qualified relationship
    The victim is a spouse, former spouse, parent, stepparent, child, stepchild or a person with whom the defendant has a child in common, or with whom the defendant has or had a dating or engagement relationship within 10 months preceding this event.
  • Strangulation
    Intentionally causing asphyxia by closure or compression of the blood vessels or air passages of the neck as a result of external pressure on the neck
  • Suffocation
    Intentionally causing asphyxia by depriving a person of air or by preventing a person from breathing through the inhalation of toxic gases or by blocking or obstructing the airway of a person, by any means other than by strangulation as defined in this section
A person commits the crime of domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation if the person commits an assault with intent to cause physical harm or commits the crime of menacing pursuant to Section 13A-6-23, by strangulation or suffocation or attempted strangulation or suffocation against a person with whom the defendant has a qualified relationship.

Domestic violence by strangulation or suffocation is a Class B felony punishable as provided by law.

Dating violence

Under Alabama statute, dating violence is considered domestic violence and is covered under the domestic violence definitions above.

Stalking

  • A person who intentionally and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who makes a threat, either expressed or implied, with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm is guilty of the crime of stalking in the first degree.

    The crime of stalking in the first degree is a Class C felony.

  • A person who, acting with an improper purpose, intentionally and repeatedly follows, harasses, telephones or initiates communication, verbally, electronically or otherwise, with another person, any member of the other person's immediate family or any third party with whom the other person is acquainted, and causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of the other person, or causes such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business or career is threatened, and the perpetrator was previously informed to cease that conduct is guilty of the crime of stalking in the second degree.

    The crime of stalking in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

  • A person who violates the provisions of Section 13A-6-90(a) and whose conduct in doing so also violates any court order or injunction is guilty of the crime of aggravated stalking in the first degree.

    The crime of aggravated stalking in the first degree is a Class B felony.

  • A person who violates the provisions of Section 13A-6-90.1 and whose conduct in doing so also violates any court order or injunction is guilty of the crime of aggravated stalking in the second degree.

    The crime of aggravated stalking in the second degree is a Class C felony.

Course of Conduct

A pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time which evidences a continuity of purpose.

Credible Threat

A threat, expressed or implied, made with the intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat so as to cause the person who is the target of the threat to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a family member and to cause reasonable mental anxiety, anguish or fear.

Harasses

Engages in an intentional course of conduct directed at a specified person which alarms or annoys that person, or interferes with the freedom of movement of that person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress. Constitutionally protected conduct is not included within the definition of this term.

Federal Laws and Definitions

Federal law entitles campus sexual assault victims/complainants and offenders/respondents to the following rights:

  1. Both have the same opportunity to have an advisor of their choice present throughout disciplinary proceedings.
  2. Both parties shall be informed simultaneously of the outcome of any disciplinary proceeding. At no time can a complainant be required to keep the outcome confidential.
  3. Complainants shall be notified of:
    1. The importance of preserving evidence that may assist in proving that the alleged criminal offense occurred or may be helpful in obtaining a protection order;
    2. How and to whom the alleged offence should be reported;
    3. Options about the involvement of law enforcement and campus authorities, including the option to:
      • Notify proper law enforcement authorities;
      • Be assisted by campus authorities in notifying law enforcement if the complainant chooses; and
      • Decline to notify such authorities;
    4. Where applicable, the rights of complainants and the institution’s responsibilities for orders of protections, ‘no contact’ orders, restraining orders or similar lawful orders issued by a criminal, civil or tribal court or by the institution;
    5. The following services available on- and off-campus including, but not limited to counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, legal assistance, visa and immigration assistance and student financial aid;
    6. Options for, available assistance in and how to request changes to academic, living, transportation and working situations (regardless of whether the complainant files a report with law enforcement );
    7. Procedures for institutional disciplinary action;
    8. How the institution will protect the confidentiality of survivors and other necessary parties.
  4. Individuals who have been sexually assaulted may obtain a free forensic exam (also known as a rape kit) from the East Alabama Medical Center Emergency Room without filing a police report or involving the police in any way. Medical care beyond the forensic exam may incur charges.
Source: 34 C.F.R. Part 668 and National Incident-Based Reporting System User Manual

Sexual assault
An offense that meets the definition of rape, fondling, incest, or statutory rape as used in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program and included in Appendix A of this subpart.

Dating violence
Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

  1. The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of relationship, the type of the relationship, and the frequency of the interaction between the persons involved in the relationship.
  2. For the purposes of this definition –
    1. Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse.
    2. Dating violence does not include acts covered under the definition of domestic violence.
  3. For the purposes of complying with the requirements of this section and § 668.41, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for purposes of Clery Act reporting.

Domestic Violence

  1. A felony or misdemeanor crime of violence committed –
    1. By a current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
    2. By a person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
    3. By a person who is cohabitating with, or has cohabitated with, the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
    4. By a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred; or
    5. By any other person against an adult or youth alleged victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction in which the crime of violence occurred.
  2. For the purposes of complying with the requirements of this section and § 668.41, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for purposes of Clery Act reporting.

Stalking

  1. Engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to –
    1. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
    2. Suffer substantial emotional distress.
  2. For purposes of this definition –
    1. Course of conduct means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, follows, monitors, surveils, or threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person’s property.
    2. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim.
    3. Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.
  3. For the purposes of complying with the requirements of this section and § 668.41, any incident meeting this definition is considered a crime for purposes of Clery Act reporting.

Rape
The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

Sex Offenses
Any sexual act directed against another person, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent.

Fondling
The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity

Incest
The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purposes of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim, including instances where the victim is incapable of giving consent because of his/her age or because of his/her temporary or permanent mental incapacity.

Statutory Rape
Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

Last Updated: October 27, 2015