Criminal sexual conduct accusations have become particularly prevalent on college campuses. Some schools are beginning to make their own policies about alleged sexual assaults between students.

Recently, a proposed bill in California, SB-967, called for students to change the way they handle the issue of consent during sexual encounters. The bill, which is simply ridiculous, requires an extra step when students choose to engage in sexual activity — affirmative consent — defined as “an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is informed, freely given, and voluntary. . . Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. . .” This proposed legislation would make it no longer okay to just let one thing lead to another in college bedrooms as the participants would have to step back and meet the new legal requirements.

Central Michigan University recently changed their Student Code of Conduct to include a more clear definition of “sexual assault” by giving it its own subsection for reasons of clarity, and to discuss consent. The updated code says, “Conduct will be considered without consent if no clear consent is given, or when the assaulted person is unconscious or otherwise without the physical or mental capacity to consent.” The problem with legislation like what is described above or with Central Michigan is that it will make it easier to make false rape accusations against students, particularly male students. It will be much easier for females to make allegations of rape without claiming rape — just to say they did not provide adequate affirmative consent. There is a reason the law does not require affirmative consent, and this kind of nonsense will only open the gates to more cases at the university level — cases that could probably never be charged by any prosecutor.

If you have been accused of sexual assault or the crime of criminal sexual conduct on a college campus in Michigan, contact the Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith, P.C. Our office is experienced in handling investigations of these cases and has diligently represented numerous students who have found themselves accused.

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