Sexual Assault Policy in Georgia

THE STATE OF GEORGIA’S DEFINITIONS FOR SEXUAL OFFENSES

There are five sexual offenses listed in the Criminal Code of Georgia that will be most applicable to students involved in Sexual Misconduct cases at Emory. These are Rape, Aggravated Sodomy, Sexual Battery, Aggravated Sexual Battery, and Publication of Name or Identity of Female Raped or Assaulted with Intent to Commit Rape.

In this section, you will find definitions of the sexual offenses you will be most likely to encounter in your role as a Conduct Officer. The language and definitions used in the Code will sometimes differ from those used in Emory’s Sexual Misconduct policy.

Note that the legal definition of Sexual Assault is very different to the way that we use the term in this manual. Under Georgia law, Sexual Assault is defined as “sexual contact” that is perpetrated by “a person who has supervisory or disciplinary authority over another individual.” For example, sexual assault occurs when a teacher engages in sexual contact with a student, or when a hospital employee engages in sexual contact with a patient. Therefore, while this manual may use the term “sexual assault” as an umbrella term for a range of sexual misconduct offenses, we have not included the full legal definition here because conduct cases between students would not meet the criteria.

If a student wishes to pursue criminal charges for any of the following offenses in the State of Georgia, these definitions will be useful for both the student and the professionals working with him/her/hir, including Conduct Officers.

However, some students may feel that the legal definitions of sexual offenses in the Georgia Code are not inclusive and/or supportive of their experiences. Therefore, the university conduct process operates independently of the criminal justice system. Should a student wish to pursue a case through the Office of Student Conduct, there are separate procedures and policies in place.

Where quotation marks are used in this section of the manual, the language has been taken directly from the Criminal Code of Georgia. You can read the full code online here: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/

16-6-1
Rape
Rape is defined in the Code as a male having “carnal knowledge” of “a female forcibly and against her will.” In this instance, carnal knowledge is defined as “penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.” The Code recognizes that rape can occur even between spouses so the defendant cannot use the fact that he is married to the person accusing him of rape as a defense.

Rape is punishable by death, life imprisonment with or without parole, or a minimum of 25 years imprisonment, followed by probation for life.

16-6-2
Aggravated Sodomy
Aggravated sodomy is defined in the Code as sodomy that is perpetrated “with force and against the will of the other person.” As with a charge of rape, a marital relationship between the defendant and accuser cannot be used as a defense.

Aggravated sodomy is punishable by life imprisonment or a minimum of 25 years imprisonment followed by probation for life.

16-6-22.1
Sexual Battery
Sexual battery occurs when a person “intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person.” The Code defines “intimate parts” as the “primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”

The first offense of sexual battery is punished as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. Subsequent offenses are considered felonies, punishable by one to five years in prison.

16-6-22.2
Aggravated sexual battery

Aggravated sexual battery occurs when a person “intentionally penetrates with a foreign object the sexual organ or anus of another person without the consent of that person.”

The Code defines “foreign object” as “any article or instrument other than the sexual organ of a person.”

Aggravated sexual battery is punishable life imprisonment or a minimum of 25 years imprisonment followed by probation for life.

16-6-23
Publication of name or identity of female raped or assaulted with intent to commit rape

Georgia law prohibits the media and members of the public from publishing the identity of any female survivor of rape or attempted rape. The Code specifies that, “it shall be unlawful for any news media or any other person to print and publish, broadcast, televise, or disseminate through any other medium of public dissemination or cause to be printed and published, broadcast, televised, or disseminated in any newspaper, magazine, periodical, or other publication published in this state or through any radio or television broadcast originating in the state the name or identity of any female who may have been raped or upon whom an assault with intent to commit the offense of rape may have been made.” This section of the Code does not apply to information disclosed in public court documents that are available to the public. Violation of this section of the Code is classed as a misdemeanor.

State of Georgia Definitions for Relationship Violence Offenses

What we might consider relationship violence or intimate partner violence is narrowly defined in the Criminal Code of Georgia as “family violence” and requires that a perpetrator and survivor live or have lived together, or have a specific kind of familial relationship. There are, however, other charges that can be brought if the perpetrator and survivor do not or have not lived together and do not meet the criteria for having a family relationship under the law. This section of the manual includes the legal definition of family violence in Georgia, plus excerpts from other sections of the Code that deal with the forms of interpersonal violence you are most likely to encounter in conduct cases.

Note that in the cases of simple battery, battery, aggravated battery, simple assault, and aggravated assault, more severe punishments will apply if the defendant is found guilty of committing the offense within the context of “family violence.” You can read more about how the charges and punishments differ in the Criminal Code of Georgia here: http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/ Where quotation marks are used in this section of the manual, the language has been taken directly from the Criminal Code.

O.C.G.A. § 19-13-10
Family Violence

“The term ‘family violence’ means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between past or present spouses, persons who are parents of the same child, parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children, or other persons living or formerly living in the same household:
   (1) Any felony; or
   (2) Commission of offenses of battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, stalking, criminal damage to property, unlawful restraint, or criminal trespass.”

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23
Simple Battery

A person commits simple battery when he or she “intentionally makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature” with another person, or “intentionally causes physical harm” to another person.

Simple battery is usually classed as a misdemeanor in Georgia but there are some exceptions. Read more about classifying and sentencing for this offense in the Code.

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-23.1
Battery
A person commits battery when he or she “he or she intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another.” The term “visible bodily harm” means harm that someone other than the victim can perceive, and might include but is not limited to “substantially blackened eyes, substantially swollen lips or other facial or body parts, or substantial bruises to body parts.”

First and second battery offenses are classed as misdemeanors in Georgia but third and subsequent offenses against the same person are classed as felonies. If the battery occurs between two family members, the second and subsequent offenses will be classed as felonies. Read the Code for other exceptions in classifying battery offenses and for sentencing information.

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-24
Aggravated Battery

A person commits aggravated battery when “he or she maliciously causes bodily harm to another by depriving him or her of a member of his or her body, by rendering a member of his or her body useless, or by seriously disfiguring his or her body or a member thereof.”

Aggravated battery is classed as a felony in Georgia.

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-20
Simple Assault

A person commits assault when he or she “attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another” or “commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.”

Simple assault is usually classed as a misdemeanor in Georgia but there are some exceptions. Read more about classifying and sentencing for this offense in the Code.


O.C.G.A. § 16-5-21
Aggravated Assault

A person commits aggravated assault when he or she assaults someone with the intent to murder, rape, or rob him or her. In order to be found guilty of aggravated assault, the person committing the assault must use a deadly weapon or other object, device, or instrument that causes serious bodily injury or is likely to.

Aggravated assault is classed as a felony in Georgia.

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-90
Stalking

A person commits stalking when “he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.”

In the Code, “contact” is defined as “any communication including without being limited to communication in person, by telephone, by mail, by broadcast, by computer, by computer network, or by any other electronic device.”

“Harassing and intimidating” is defined as “a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person’s safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, and by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose.” The defendant does not have to make a threat of death or bodily injury to be found guilty of stalking.

A person can be convicted of stalking if he or she is found guilty of violating a restraining order, protective order, injunction, or an order to refrain from contact with a certain person as a condition of pretrial release, probation or parole.

A person also commits the offense of stalking when he or she broadcasts or publishes the picture, name, address, or phone number of a person who benefits (ie: is supposed to be protected by) such an order or injunction without their consent in a way that causes others to harass or intimidate that person. A person can also be found guilty of stalking if he or she knew or had reason to believe that publishing another person’s personal information would result in harassment or intimidation by others.

The first conviction of a stalking offense is classed as a misdemeanor. Subsequent stalking offenses are classed as felonies punishable by one to ten years’ imprisonment.

O.C.G.A. § 16-5-91
Aggravated Stalking

A person commits aggravated stalking when he or she violates a temporary or permanent restraining or protective order, preliminary or permanent injunction, good behavior bond, or condition of pretrial release, probation, or parole by following, contacting, or placing under surveillance another person for the purpose of harassing or intimidating him or her.

Aggravated stalking is a felony that carries a prison sentence of one to ten years and a maximum fine of $10,000.