FAQ's for the Respondents (Accused)

Title IX at Golden West College

Information for Respondents/The Accused

If you are a student at Golden West College or any college within the district and you have been accused of sexual harassment, sexual violence or other gender-based harassment it is important that you read the following information. Although not intended to be a comprehensive explanation of your options and rights, this information may be useful to you.

Sexual harassment, sexual violence and other gender-based harassment occurring in the college setting implicates a federal law called Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities and which triggers certain responsibilities on the part of the college. The Colleges Title IX Coordinator is Dr. Carla Martinez, Dean of Students, who can be contacted at (714) 895-8781 or

Within the Colleges processes, the person making the allegations is referred to as the Complainant. The person who the allegations have been made against is referred to as the Respondent. A complainant who wishes to report sexual harassment, sexual violence or other gender-based harassment may report their complaint directly to the Student Health Center, Public Safety, the Title IX Coordinator, or other campus officials. A complainant may also report directly to law enforcement. A complainant may pursue both the campus process through the Title IX Coordinator and the criminal process simultaneously.

The College and District prohibits retaliation in any way against an individual or group because the individual or group has reported an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual violence or has participated in a grievance proceeding in response to such an allegation. The College and District recognizes retaliation can take many forms, may be committed by an individual or group against an individual or group, and that a respondent can also be the subject of retaliation. The District will take prompt and responsive action to any report of retaliation and may pursue disciplinary or other action as appropriate.


What do I do if I am accused of sexual violence and/or sexual misconduct?Review BP/AP 5910- Sexual Misconduct policy [PDF] to understand your rights and responsibilities. Your Title IX Coordinator can explain the colleges grievance procedures for addressing sexual misconduct complaints. You may also want to seek confidential counseling through the Health Center’s Psychological Services or seek support through off campus services in the community.

What about legal advice?Respondents may want to retain legal counsel given the potential for criminal and/or civil action.

What if, anything will my parents be told?The colleges primary relationship is to you, the student, and not to your parent/guardian. College officials will only speak with your parents/guardians at your request or when there is a significant threat to your health or safety.

Can I be charged with something on campus and off campus?Yes, complainants have the right to pursue both campus resolution of a complaint as well as civil and/or criminal resolution. It is up to the complainant to decide how they want to proceed. The colleges processes will move forward regardless if there is criminal or civil legal action taken regarding the same incident.

If I engage in a sexual activity with someone who has been drinking, can I be accused of sexual assault?Yes, it is against the District’s Sexual Misconduct policy (BP/AP 5910) to engage in any sexual activity with someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, and therefore incapable of giving consent. Alcohol may cause such a state of incapacitation. However, it varies on a case by case basis. For a variety of reasons it is not advisable to engage in sexual activity while intoxicated. When one or both parties are intoxicated, people tend to misinterpret anothers sexual intentions and often proceed before the issue of consent has been clarified.