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Recently, a post on Facebook from people at a University of California about a man, let's call him Joe, who is allegedly a serial sexual harasser has blown up. Here are the facts about the case:

  1. There are hundreds of female students who have said that Joe has done one or more of the following to them: asked them for a kiss, followed them when asked to leave, tried to touch them, touched them, grabbed them and prevented them from leaving
  2. Joe is in a wheelchair and claims to have cerebral palsy
  3. Students (including myself) have contacted UCPD about Joe, and the UCPD are currently building a case about Joe, soliciting reports from anyone who has them. Additionally, a similar post happened on Facebook about a year ago, and Joe was also reported to UCPD then.
  4. Joe tells a different backstory to each student that usually goes like "My friend/teacher/family member just died. Will you be my friend?"
  5. Apparently, this has been going on for over five years.
  6. Joe looks to be about 30 years old or so
  7. Joe is not a student at the university

My question is, assuming Joe actually has cerebral palsy and is disabled, what can the UCPD do about it? Can they ban Joe from campus? If so, how would they enforce it?

  • Enforcement: if student is banned from campus, and then someone sees student on campus, s/he can call campus security, who will ask him to leave voluntarily, and enforce the ban if he does not. – aparente001 Sep 25 '16 at 1:49
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Being disabled has nothing to do with it.

If he is harassing students then after there is a complaint and investigation, then he can be banned from campus, and arrested for trespassing if he returns.

But there would have to be a formal complaint made to the authorities first.

  • It's true that at many universities, the campus police can ban a person from campus without judicial process, but I couldn't find any indication that UC has such a policy. It's conceivable that they instead treat the campus as a public place and anyone is allowed to be there. If so, the police could arrest the person if he actually commits a crime, but couldn't otherwise keep him away. – Nate Eldredge Sep 25 '16 at 14:03
  • The open areas are open but all buildings are noticed that they are for authorized UC personnel and guests only. – RoboKaren Sep 25 '16 at 16:06
  • @RoboKaren does this mean he can't be banned from outdoor areas on campus? – michaelsnowden Sep 25 '16 at 18:38
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    You don't need a judge's order to ban people from private spaces. For the public areas, the university could (easily) get a restraining order from a judge. However, to make a case, they would need complainants to step forward and right now, there have not been any formal complaints filed (as far as I can tell from the media). – RoboKaren Sep 25 '16 at 19:11
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    As far as I can tell, only witnesses have come forward and not any victims. Victims need to make formal complaints. – RoboKaren Sep 26 '16 at 5:33
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Joe's cerebral palsy doesn't change the standard by which his actions would be judged and he may be banned from campus. Joe's disable state may, however, allow him to sue the University if he claims that he was banned for discriminatory reasons. In general Joe would have an easy time filing the suit and a very difficult time winning the suit, but that said, universities and other "deep pockets" tend to tread lightly when dealing with members of protected classes who might sue. One solution is to raise the spectre of another member of a protected class, the women he harasses, suing the University for knowingly creating a discriminatory atmosphere by not banning Joe. This lawsuit also has about a zero chance of success, but if administrators feel that the have a balance of risk on both sides, they will often do the right thing.

If a student has been grabbed, especially if not allowed to leave, then calling the police and asking for criminal charges to be filed would seem warranted. Depending on state law, there are a number of crimes that this could amount to. Once criminal charges are pending, it might be easier to get risk-adverse administrators to act as well.

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