Sexual Assault and Rape

LTSP is committed to creating and maintaining an environment free of all forms of violence, harassment, exploitation, and intimidation. Every member of the LTSP community should be aware that such behavior is prohibited by law and school policy. LTSP will not tolerate sexual misconduct in any form, including acquaintance or date rape. LTSP will take appropriate action to prevent, correct, and discipline behavior that is found to violate school policy or laws proscribing rape or sexual assault.

This policy applies: to students currently enrolled at LTSP, faculty, staff and visitors to the campus and facilities. Faculty members should also consult the LTSP Faculty Handbook. For staff members and administrators, provisions contained in the LTSP Employee Handbook prohibit conduct that violates the law and school policy, and provide for disciplinary action for inappropriate conduct.

Definitions

Sexual violence in any form, including sexual assault and rape, is prohibited by seminary policy. Sexual violence includes a range of behaviors in which an act of a sexual nature is taken against another person without her or his consent or when he or she is unable to consent.

Important definitions appear below.

Sexual assault (including but not limited to rape) is defined as having committed any of the following acts:

  1. Any physical sexual contact that involves the use or threat of force or violence or any other form of coercion or intimidation;
  2. Any physical sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent due to incapacity or impairment, mental or physical. “Incapacity” or “impairment” includes but is not limited to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or being too young to consent.

Rape is defined to include all acts of sexual assault involving an act of penetration and includes acquaintance rape (assailant and victim know each other.)

Acquaintance rape is sexual intercourse undertaken by a friend or acquaintance without the consent of the student.  Acquaintance rape is also sometimes referred to as date rape.

Non-forcible sex acts include unlawful sex acts where consent is not relevant, such as sexual contact with an individual under the statutory age of consent as defined by Pennsylvania law.

Consent is an affirmative decision to engage in mutually agreed upon sexual activity and is given by clear words or actions. Consent may not be inferred from silence, passivity, or lack of resistance alone. Furthermore, consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity and the existence of a current or previous dating, marital, or sexual relationship is not sufficient to constitute consent to additional sexual activity. Assent shall not constitute consent if it is given by a person who because of youth, disability, intoxication or other condition is unable to lawfully give his or her consent.

In determining whether the alleged conduct violates this policy, consideration will be given to the totality of circumstances, including the nature of the sexual conduct and the context in which the alleged incident occurred.

Prevention Of Sexual Assault And Rape 

LTSP uses a number of means to prevent sexual assault and rape, including:

  • Encouraging students to inform themselves about crime prevention techniques, such as those offered by the City of Philadelphia Police Department;
  • Encouraging students to make use of the public safety resources, such as escorts provided by the campus Security Department.

Responding To Sexual Assault And Rape 

Since LTSP maintains a Security Department, all violations of the law involving sexual assault or rape should be reported immediately to the department for further investigation by the City of Philadelphia Police Department’s rape unit.

Incidents of sexual assault and rape should also be reported to the President, the Dean, the Coordinator of Student Services or the Chief of Campus Security.  Students are not required to report incidents to the Police Department or District Attorney, although they are encouraged to do so. LTSP officials will honor requests for confidentiality by the student alleging sexual assault or rape, but shall report anonymous information to the Security Department, so that the incident can be included in LTSP crime statistics.

If an incident is reported to an LTSP official, the official shall inform the student of her or his right to inform the Philadelphia Police Department or District Attorney. The student shall also be informed of the importance of preserving evidence required for proof of possible criminal activity, and of the availability of school officials to assist the student in notifying authorities of the incident, upon the student’s request.

Finally, the student shall be informed of counseling, mental health and other services:

  • Northwest Victim Services
    6301 Germantown Ave, 2nd Floor, Suite 1
    Philadelphia, PA 19144
    215.438.4410
    Northwest Victim Services website (opens a new browser window)
  • Women Organized Against Rape
    One Penn Center, 1617 JFK Blvd., Suite 1100
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    24 Hour Hotline:  215.985.3333
    woar.org (opens new browser window)

Victims of sexual assault and rape may request that LTSP change academic and living situations. LTSP will change those situations if it is able to do so and if the changes requested by the victim are reasonably available.

If a student is determined to have committed sexual assault, rape, acquaintance rape, or other forcible or non-forcible sex offense, disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from academic programs may be imposed by LTSP.

Procedures For Disciplinary Action In The Case Of Sexual Assault And Rape 

When a student reports being sexually assaulted or raped by another student, the Dean shall conduct a timely investigation of the allegations in the case, including interviewing any witnesses as needed. The decision to proceed with charges in a sexual assault or rape case is a joint decision of the Dean and President, with final authority residing with the President.

If formal charges are brought against the accused student by LTSP, the case shall either go to a hearing for adjudication, or be disposed of administratively in a settlement agreement.

The student charged with sexual assault or rape is entitled to due process and will be given notice and full opportunity to respond to the allegations. The student can seek representation, have the same opportunity as the student who reported being assaulted to have a non-participating observer present during the proceedings, and is entitled to information about the school policy on sexual assault and rape, and the procedures that will be followed to address the charges.

If formal charges are brought against the accused student by LTSP, the Dean will notify the accused in a written statement outlining the charges. The student charged will have seven working days to respond in writing. The Dean may then seek a settlement that is mutually agreeable to the person making the allegations and the student charged. The Dean and student(s) involved will have 10 working days after receipt of the charged student’s response to negotiate an administrative settlement agreement. If no such agreement is reached after 10 working days, the incident shall proceed to a hearing for adjudication.

If a hearing is required, the Dean shall, within 15 working days, appoint a committee composed of three LTSP faculty and/or staff members. The committee will, within 30 days of being appointed, hear evidence presented by the accuser and accused, and/or their representatives, and may interview any witnesses as needed, and review any other available evidence. The committee will vote, with a majority having final authority, on whether to sustain the charges. The committee will notify the Dean, the student bringing charges, and the student charged, of the outcome of its vote within five working days of voting. If the charges are sustained, the committee will recommend disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from all academic programs at LTSP, to the Dean. The Dean may act on the recommended disciplinary action, or take other action, up to and including dismissal from all academic programs at LTSP. The Dean will inform the student charged of disciplinary action within 10 working days of the committee notification.

The student charged may appeal the outcome of the disciplinary action in writing within 10 working days of being notified. The appeal is to be directed to the President of LTSP, who will review the case. The President will make a decision on the disciplinary action recommended by the Dean within 10 working days and will inform the student charged. The decision of the President is final and no further appeal is allowed.

Policy Against Retaliation

The seminary expressly prohibits retaliation against faculty, staff, or students who in good faith make reports of violations of this policy. In addition, knowingly and intentionally making a false report of a violation of this policy is prohibited. Members of the LTSP community who take adverse action against someone who reports a violation of this policy, intimidates, threatens or otherwise engages in retaliation is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of their employment or expulsion from the seminary.

More Campus Safety and Security information:

| Campus Safety and Security home | Drug Free Campus and Workplace |
Compliance with Campus Security Act | Crime Statistics |

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