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A look at California legislation on sexual assault

BACK TO SCHOOL: A look at California's college sexual assault 'consent standard' legislation

Posted on Aug. 10, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 10, 2014 at 11:43 a.m.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The California State Assembly is expected to vote on legislation this month that would require colleges that receive state funds for student assistance to adopt an “affirmative consent standard” as part of their sexual assault policies in determining allegations from a complainant.

Here’s a look at what the legislation says about what would be considered consent between students engaged in sexual activity and what would not be considered consent when colleges investigate a sexual assault case.

SB-967 says:

“Affirmative consent means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent.”

It also states that “affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”

The accused also could not use being under the influence of drugs or alcohol or recklessness as an argument for believing the complainant, according to the legislation.

It also is not consent if the complainant was asleep or unconscious, was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition, or incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.


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