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California State Universities make sexual misconduct rule changes

A new policy at California State Universities will give students accused of sexual assault the right to a hearing.

Posted: Apr 3, 2019 11:29 PM
Updated: Apr 4, 2019 4:07 PM

CHICO, Calif. -- A new policy at California State Universities will give students accused of sexual assault the right to a hearing. 

Generally, the alleged victims and witnesses will have to testify with the accused in the room, though the new policy provides an avenue for one party to request to participate out of the physical presence of the other party. 

Some students told Action News Now they think this will be a fair opportunity to hear both sides, others say this would discourage victims from coming forward.

This change comes after a January 4th ruling. A USC student accused of sexual assault sued the university after he was expelled. A judge in the case ruled that any student accused of sexual misconduct who faces expulsion or suspension has a right to have a live hearing.

We spoke to Chico State students about the new policy change.

"It kind of tips the scale on both sides. At the same time when a person is accused, I think they have the right to see who is accusing them and stand up for it, but at the same time I see how it can have a negative effect on the people trying to expose those who are accused," said Michael Whittemore, a Chico State student. 

The CSU adopted a policy where all the questions will be asked by a hearing officer to avoid direct confrontation between students.

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