The numbers of reported sexual assault on college campuses have been steadily increasing. This is largely because the antiquated policies of many colleges have been dragged into the national spotlight after several cases of sexual assault on campuses across the country. Consequently, Maryland colleges have been advised to revamp their policies regarding these types of crimes before the end of the year.
The Maryland Office of the Attorney General has taken an active role in spearheading the changes, which will address certain issues related to assault and sex crimes. The new policies will be an "umbrella" over faculty, staff and students and will seek to specifically define what qualifies as sexual assault. Updates to school policies should bring them in line with federal standards as well as state law.
While it is hard to argue that action should be taken to decrease instances of sexual misconduct, it may be hard to define precisely what constitutes a violation of the statute. In some sexual assault cases, it can be difficult to distinguish what is factual and what is not. For this reason, if a Maryland college student is facing sexual assault charges, it is important to exercise his or her right to a criminal defense. Facing an accusation of assault or assault charges does not equal a conviction, but the accused has every right to challenge the prosecution's version of the "facts" and can present evidence for his or her own benefit.
Sexual assault is an important issue. However, those accused of this or charged with this offense have important rights under the law. Additionally, they will be presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise by the prosecution. Many times, that is easier said than actually accomplished.
Source: news.wypr.org, "Maryland Colleges To Revise Sexual Assault Policies", Maureen Harvie, June 4, 2014