Report to Police

How does it work?

USC encourages anyone who witnesses or experiences sexual assault to make a report to local law enforcement.

To report sexual assault, individuals may contact DPS. When sexual assault is reported to DPS, DPS immediately notifies:

  • The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). You can request that your name not be provided to LAPD, and DPS will honor that request. LAPD (or the appropriate law enforcement agency if outside of the Los Angeles area) has the responsibility for the investigation of this incident. DPS does not have investigative jurisdiction over prohibited conduct.
  • The Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Office will outreach to provide resources and reporting options.
  • RSVP. A staff member will provide outreach to you to provide support and resources.

If you wish to pursue criminal action in addition to, or instead of, making a report to the university, you may contact law enforcement directly by calling:

  • 911 (for emergencies)
  • The Los Angeles Police Department at 877-ASK-LAPD

You have the right to report, or to decline to report, prohibited conduct to law enforcement. A report to law enforcement may instigate criminal investigation and adjudication within the criminal justice system. Sanctions in the criminal justice system are separate and distinct from university administrative sanctions and may involve probation/parole or incarceration.

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What can I report to police?

If you are in immediate danger, or have just experienced a sexual assault, call 911.

Unwanted sexual contact is never okay, and certain types of contact are criminal offenses including sexual battery and rape.

California legal definitions:

  • Rape: Non-consensual sexual intercourse that involves the use of threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury or threats of future retaliation and duress
    • Non-consensual: when a person is incapable of giving consent because they are incapacitated by alcohol and/or drugs, or if they have a mental, developmental, or physical disability that renders them incapable of giving consent.
    • Whether the accused is a stranger, acquaintance, spouse, or friend is irrelevant to the legal definition of rape.
    • Sexual battery: Touching an intimate part of a victim or forcing a victim to touch an intimate part of another person against the victim’s will, for the purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification or sexual abuse, while unlawfully restraining them, through deception, when the person is unconscious, or while the person is mentally or medically incapacitated.

Read more legal definitions at Laws in California and Laws Outside California.

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What happens after I report?

After you make an initial report, a designated Investigator/Detective may be assigned to your case and will follow up with you to determine next steps. Potential next steps may include:

  • visiting the scene of the crime
  • interviewing witnesses, and/or
  • interviewing you to gather more information

At that point, they might decide not to move forward with a criminal investigation. If they do move forward, the investigator will present the evidence and details of the case to a District Attorney, who will determine whether there is enough evidence to move forward with a criminal prosecution. The prosecutor may decide to pursue a criminal case even if you do not want to, however, you cannot be forced to participate in any investigation or prosecution if you do not wish.

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