Report/Complaint Process

Any individual who learns of possible sexual misconduct should report it immediately to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators (see full list of Contact and Resources). Furthermore, all employees are required to report alleged incidents to their supervisor, HCC Title IX Coordinator, or Deputy Coordinators. Any supervisor who receives a report must report the matter to the Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators who are responsible for overseeing the investigation.

  • A complainant is the person who experienced sexual misconduct.
  • A respondent is the person being accused of sexual misconduct.

Before a complainant reveals information that s/he may wish to keep confidential, the employee will inform the complainant that he/she is a required Title IX reporter and as such, will have to inform a supervisor, the Title IX Coordinator, or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator about this alleged incident. No HCC employees are considered “confidential employees.” Employees must report all relevant details about the alleged sexual misconduct that the complainant has shared.

Complainant Confidentiality

If a complainant wants confidentiality, then he/she should be referred to a health care provider or licensed counselor. Confidential reports are accepted at SARC – Sexual Assault/Spousal Abuse Resource Center, located in Bel Air, MD, via the 24-Hour Helpline at 410-836-8430.


Waiting to report an alleged incident of sexual misconduct may hinder the investigation and delay HCC’s ability to respond and take appropriate action.



The Title IX Coordinator or a Deputy Title IX Coordinator will ensure that the complainant:

  • receives a copy of the HCC Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policies and Procedures;
  • is advised of the option to notify law enforcement and is assisted in doing so if desired;
  • is advised of HCC’s investigative obligations and process;
  • is advised that even if the complainant chooses not to pursue the complaint, HCC may proceed with its investigation;
  • is advised of available interim measures; and
  • is advised about available resources for counseling, health, mental health, victim advocacy, and legal assistance.

Investigation of Complaints

All reports of alleged sexual misconduct are promptly investigated to determine what occurred and then steps are taken for an appropriate resolution of the situation. HCC makes every effort to investigate and resolve all reported incidents within sixty (60) calendar days of receiving the initial complaint. This sixty (60) calendar day timeframe refers to the entire investigation process, which includes conducting the fact-finding investigation, holding an administrative conference to determine whether the alleged sexual misconduct occurred and created a hostile environment, and determining what actions HCC will take to eliminate the hostile environment and prevent its recurrence, including imposing sanctions against the alleged perpetrator and providing remedies for the complainant and the HCC community. This sixty (60) calendar day timeframe does not include any appeals process.

HCC ensures its process is prompt and appropriate; however, there may be occasions where the timeframes for the investigation will vary depending on the complexity of the investigation and the severity and extent of the alleged misconduct (e.g., if there is a parallel criminal investigation or if the incident occurs partially during college breaks/closures). Due to the possible variability of the timeframes, both parties will be given periodic status updates throughout the process.

Alleged violations of the Sexual Misconduct Policy are handled as a top priority by HCC Administration. Students and employees are offered full protections of due process when they are accused of a violation. Because of the nature of these offenses, HCC’s President and Board of Trustees reserve the discretion to review any decisions made by HCC Boards or Committees and to reach an independent conclusion based upon evidence that will be final.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality of the complainant, the respondent, and any other individuals associated with the reporting of an alleged incident of sexual misconduct will be honored and offered to the fullest extent reasonably possible consistent with the law and the College’s commitment to eliminate sexual misconduct. If the complainant requests her/his name not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator or that HCC not investigate or seek action against the alleged perpetrator, HCC will determine whether honoring such a request will negatively impact the ability to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all community members, as well as the individual who reported the sexual misconduct.

The Title IX Coordinator or Deputy Coordinators will evaluate confidentiality requests and weigh requests for confidentiality against a range of factors. These factors include:

  • an increased risk of the alleged perpetrator committing additional acts of sexual misconduct (e.g., whether there have been other sexual misconduct complaints about the same alleged perpetrator);
  • whether the alleged perpetrator has a history of arrests or records from a prior school/college/university indicating a history of violence;
  • whether the alleged perpetrator threatened further sexual misconduct or other misconduct against the complainant or others;
  • whether the sexual misconduct was committed by multiple perpetrators;
  • likelihood of increased risk of future acts of sexual misconduct under similar circumstances (e.g., whether the complainant’s report reveals a pattern of perpetration at a given location or by a particular group);
  • whether the sexual misconduct was perpetrated with a weapon;
  • the age of the complainant subjected to the sexual misconduct; and
  • whether HCC possesses other means to obtain relevant evidence (e.g., security cameras or physical evidence).

If HCC determines that it must disclose the complainant’s identity to an alleged perpetrator, it will inform the complainant prior to making this disclosure. HCC will continue to work to safeguard the privacy of such persons even in cases where HCC chooses to investigate an incident that the complainant does not want to pursue.

Amnesty

A student who reports an incident of sexual misconduct, either as a complainant or a third party witness, will not be held responsible for related drug and alcohol Student Code of Conduct violations at the time of the incident. HCC does not want the fear of receiving disciplinary charges and/or a disciplinary sanction to prevent a student from reporting an incident of sexual misconduct.

Criminal Reporting

Complainants have the right to decline notifying law enforcement of an alleged incident of sexual misconduct. However, HCC encourages complainants to report alleged incidents of sexual misconduct that are also considered a crime under Maryland law to the HCC Department of Public Safety or other appropriate law enforcement agencies. The Department of Public Safety will assist complainants of alleged sexual misconduct in notifying other law enforcement agencies and may aid in the criminal investigation if the allegation constitutes a crime.

If the HCC Department of Public Safety or a local law enforcement agency determines that the alleged incident of sexual misconduct does not constitute a crime, HCC will still proceed with its investigation under the HCC Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Procedure. Investigation by HCC may be done prior to, simultaneously with, or following civil or criminal proceedings. If HCC makes the decision to delay temporarily the fact-finding portion of the investigation while law enforcement agencies are gathering evidence, HCC will take interim measures to protect the complainant in the educational setting as well as update the parties on the status of the investigation and inform the parties when HCC resumes its investigation. The outcome of the civil or criminal proceedings will not determine the HCC course of action nor the HCC outcome.

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