Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Punishment is increasing for sexual assault on college campuses

Sexual assault on college campuses is certainly a major issue that needs to be dealt with; and to lawmakers, that means laying down the law with some very serious consequences for those who engage in non-consensual activity. New rules have been put into place on college campuses all across the country, and one of the significant ones here in California is the "yes means yes" law.

This law is different than the more conventional idea of "no means no" in that it is much more strict. "Yes means yes" is a law that can still consider sexual activity illegal if there is no opposition to the activity. In other words, if one of the parties doesn't clearly say they consent, it can be considered sexual assault.

Even though California is considered to have some of the toughest laws for sexual assault on college campuses already, we are pressing forward with more laws. Another potential law in the works is called Assembly Bill 967. This rule would place minimum standards of punishment on those who commit sexual assault on college campuses. Most notably, it would require a two-year suspension from the campus for the offender.

Obviously sexually-based crimes are terrible offenses that can leave the victim scarred for life. But at the same time, the punishment associated with these rules can absolutely ruin the lives of the offenders. It's not that the offenders deserve to get away with their crime -- it's about making sensible rules that allow people to learn from their mistakes and correct the way they are handling their lives.

Under AB 967, young people guilty of this crime could have their futures ruined. They may not be able to get back into college. That could lead to them having lower-paying jobs or no jobs at all, which could lead them down a path of perpetual crime.

Source: University Herald, "California Lawmaker Proposes 2 Year Minimum Suspension for Students Who Commit Sexual Assault," April 15, 2015

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