Sex Offense Response Policy

Sex offenses, including date or acquaintance rape, are a serious concern of the Appalachian Police Department. If you feel you are a victim of a sex offense on campus, call us at 262-8000 any time of the day or night. Appalachian Police will:

  1. Meet with you privately at a place of your choice to take a complaint report, and if you feel more comfortable talking with a female or male officer, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
  2. Not release your name to the public or the press as long as such release is likely to pose a threat to your mental or physical health or personal safety. However, the law requires notification to the campus community of crimes that are “considered to be a threat to other students and employees” and the disclosure of the time, date, location and nature of a violation.
  3. Assist you with transportation to a local hospital or other medical treatment facility. We will also assist you in privately contacting counseling and other available resources.
  4. Fully investigate your case, keep you informed about the progress of the investigation and/or prosecution, and be available to answer your questions and explain the legal systems and processes involved. We will also explain to you that, if an arrest is made, certain information that had previously been held confidential will now become public record.

If a sexual assault occurs on campus: Get medical attention; notify Appalachian Police immediately; find and maintain a support system (a 24-hour crisis hotline is available by calling 828-262-5035). Remember, any victim of sexual assault has the right to file a complaint with law enforcement authorities. If an assault occurs off-campus, Appalachian Police will help you file a report with the appropriate law enforcement agency.

To aid the police investigation, take these steps to preserve evidence:

    • If the offence has just occurred, do not shower or bathe before the medical exam.
    • Try not to touch any smooth surfaces that the perpetrator may have touched until police have dusted for fingerprints, and avoid disturbing the scene before police can investigate for other evidence.
    • Save all your clothing and personal items from the crime and tell the police what you have.
    • Document any injury you suffered, either by photography, showing it to someone you trust, and/or making a written record.

    Counseling services for victims of sex offenses

    Counseling services for sexual assault victims are available both on and off campus. The Counseling and Psychological Services Center, located in the Annas Student Services Building, provides counseling to students who are victims of any sex offense. It can also provide referrals to community resources such as OASIS. The University’s Counseling Center will also assist students who choose to notify law enforcement agencies, both on and off campus. The Student Health Services can also provide medical information and referrals to community agencies. The offices of Student Development and Academic Affairs will also make every reasonable effort to assist the victim of a sexual assault by providing options for changing living or academic conditions.

    Sex offense disciplinary procedures and sanctions

    Appalachian’s Student Judicial Affairs Office hears cases referred for violations of the Code of Student Conduct including sex offenses, forcible or nonforcible. Both the accuser and the accused are entitled to the same opportunity to have others present during the campus judicial proceedings during which an on-campus sexual assault is alleged. Both the accuser and the accused shall be informed of the outcome of any campus disciplinary proceedings brought about by alleging sexual assault. See the Code of Student Conduct for the minimum sanction for sexual assault or rape (forcible or nonforcible). The sanctions are recommended to the Vice Chancellor by a judicial board following a hearing or administratively determined by a hearing officer. The judicial process and sanctions are outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.