• Campus SaVE Act

    Assault (Sexual or Physical)

    Definition of Physical Assault: The Texas Penal Code (Sec. 22.01) defines assault as intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another or intentionally or knowingly causing physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. This would include Dating Violence which the Texas Family Code, Section 71.0021, defines, in part, as an act by an individual that is against another individual with whom that person has, or has had, a dating relationship and that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the individual in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault.

    Under Texas law, assault related offenses can range from misdemeanor to felony, depending on the specific elements of the offense. Misdemeanor offenses can result in punishments ranging from fines of $500.00 - $4,000.00 and up to one year in jail. Felony convictions can result in fines of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of 5-99 years in prison.

    This includes Assault-Dating Violence.

    A criminal conviction Class A Misdemeanor Assault is punishable by a fine up to $4,000.00 and/or up to one year in jail.

    Definition of a Sexual Assault: Sexual assault involves sexual activity without the person’s consent. According to the Texas Penal Code (Sec. 22.011) this includes, but is not limited to, when the alleged offender:

    1. Uses physical force or violence against the other person to submit or participate;
    2. Knows the other person is unconscious or physically unable to resist; or
    3. Intentionally impairs the other person’s power to appraise or control the other person’s conduct by administrating any substance without the other person’s knowledge.

    A criminal conviction of sexual assault is a Second Degree Felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $10,000.

    Reporting an Assault

    A victim of assault should immediately report the incident to the HSU Police Department (if the incident occurred within the HSUPD jurisdiction) or to the Abilene Police Department (when outside the HSUPD jurisdiction). When in doubt, contact the HSU Police Department (325 670-1461), and they will assist with the appropriate reporting procedures.

    Victims of sexual assault should immediately call 911. To avoid destroying critical forensic evidence, victims should not shower, bathe or change clothes. Victims of sexual assault or assault (dating violence) who report to the police may choose to use a ‘pseudonym’ in an effort to maintain confidentiality.

    The victim will be interviewed by the appropriate law enforcement personnel, and will be provided options, including the possibility of filing criminal charges. Ultimately, it is the victim’s decision to file criminal charges. If the victim believes there is a credible and/or imminent risk of harm, he or she may also choose to file a restraining/protective order with the appropriate police department.

    If the accused student is a HSU student, the victim, in addition to reporting to HSUPD, should report the incident to the Dean of Students. Whether the student files a report, if the university becomes aware of any assaultive conduct, the university has a duty to investigate the incident and determine appropriate administrative sanctions for the accused student.

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