Last Updated on September 7, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
Has a student you know been alleged to have committed a sexual battery and is up for school expulsion? “Sexual Battery” allegations can be thrown at students without thought or understanding of the definition of “sexual battery” or how damaging such an allegation is.
Understanding what “sexual battery” actually means is important and should be understood lest such an allegation damage a student’s records and reputation for life.
Sexual Battery is Defined in the Penal Code
California Education Code §48900(n) authorizes schools to suspend or expel students for sexual battery. Yet the definition of “sexual battery” is found in criminal law.
Per California Penal Code §243.4 the elements of sexual battery, in a nutshell, are:
SEXUAL BATTERY occurs if:
— A person touches a victim’s intimate part and/or forces the victim to touch them or someone else, AND
— This is against the will of the victim, AND
— The touching is for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse, AND the act occurs:
* While the victim is unlawfully restrained, OR
* While the victim is institutionalized for medical treatment and is seriously disabled and/or medically incapacitated, OR
* The victim is unconscious and is touched by a professional who falsely represented the touching was for a professional purpose.
Now which of these MAY apply with California students? Any.
Approach Sexual Battery Allegations and Admissions with Caution
Admitting to a “sexual battery” is a big thing, as one can see by the definition. This is one of the “Big 5” allegations and expulsion is mandatory if guilt is found.
To avoid an expulsion hearing on such a terrible student crime, parents may be talked into signing an agreement (expulsion, suspended expulsion, behavior contract, etc.) which contains a school sexual battery charge.
The other option is to go to an expulsion hearing, and present the student’s defense of “no sexual battery” to an expulsion panel.
Even if a parent brings the law with them, or attempts to explain what a sexual battery is under the law to the expulsion panel, the parent may have a difficult time. This is because of the very sensitive nature of such student sexual allegations.
Any expulsion panel may just believe the accuser and the parents of the accused student may not be listened to in their pleas of innocence.
Prepare a Good Defense in Sexual Battery Expulsions
As this is the case, it is very important that parents enter the expulsion hearing prepared and with good arguments that the student did not commit sexual battery. Preparation and evidence are key.
Failing to approach sexual battery allegations properly can have horrible consequences and the student may be haunted by such allegations for life. Don’t make the mistake of misunderstanding the giant mountain before the student who faces a school sexual battery allegation.
Lawyer for students Michelle Ball helps with expulsion resolutions, hearings, appeals and other discipline matters. As an education attorney n Sacramento California, she can act statewide, in Auburn, Roseville, Colfax, Tahoe, Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, Woodland, Fairfield, Vacaville, Vallejo, San Francisco, and many other locations.