Policies and Procedures
Sexual Misconduct Policy
Criminal and Disciplinary Proceedings
A student charged with sexual misconduct on campus or at college-sponsored events can either be prosecuted under Wyoming statutes and/or disciplined under the Northwest College Sexual Misconduct Policy.
An investigation at Northwest College can take place simultaneously with a criminal investigation; they are separate investigations with their own outcomes. The following explains their differences:
- A college investigation uses the preponderance of evidence standard, which means more likely than not, something happened. The college needs to take action to prevent or remedy a hostile environment.
- A criminal investigation (not college-related) with the police requires a high level of evidence to be able to convict a person.
- A college investigation is concluded within sixty days. However, time extensions may be warranted when the College is working with other agencies or when there are delays due to extenuating circumstances, such as witness availability. During the investigation, the college may take interim measures as needed to protect the parties in an educational setting. This could include someone changing halls, changing classes, or changing work schedules. There are no statute of limitations, meaning a person can make a report anytime. For example, if an incident happened five or fifteen years ago, a person can still report it to the college.
- A criminal investigation (not college-related) and possible court procedures may take several months or much longer to complete.
- A college investigation determines if an individual violated Northwest College's Sexual Misconduct Policy. If a person is found in violation of policy, he/she may be warned, removed from resident halls, put on probation, suspended, or expelled, depending on the case. Amnesty may be given for other violations. For example, if a student reporting a rape on campus was drunk on campus when the rape occurred, the investigators will focus on the rape, not the alcohol violation.
- A criminal investigation (not college related) determines if an individual violated a criminal law. If a person is tried and found guilty, he/she may be imprisoned or subjected to criminal penalties.