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Clery Act Compliance Policy

Definitions of Clery Act Crimes

Table of Contents:
Aggravated assault
Arrests for liquor law, drug abuse, weapons violations
Dating violence
Domestic violence
Hate crimes
Motor vehicle theft
Murder and manslaughter
Sex offenses

Aggravated assault is an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually involves a weapon or means likely to cause death or great bodily harm.

Arrests for drug abuse, liquor law, and weapons violations must be reported

  • Drug abuse violations are violations of laws prohibiting the production, distribution, or use of certain controlled substances and associated equipment; unlawful cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic; and arrests for violations of state and local laws the relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing or manufacturing and making of narcotic drugs.
  • Liquor law violations are defined as violations of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, possession, transporting, or furnishing of intoxicating liquors or alcoholic beverages; and all attempts to commit any of the aforementioned. (Public drunkenness and driving under the influence are not included).
  • Weapons violations are violations of laws or ordinances dealing with weapon offenses, such as: manufacture, sale, or possession of deadly weapons; carrying of deadly weapons, concealed or openly; furnishing deadly weapons to minors; aliens possessing deadly weapons and all attempts to commit any of these acts.

Arson is maliciously burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another. 

Burglary is the unlawful entry into a structure to commit a felony or theft.  Theft or unlawful entry into open-access areas, such as dining halls and libraries, is not burglary. A structure is a physical space enclosed by four walls, with a roof and door, and so does not include lockers, tents, or cars, for example.  Shoplifting is not burglary.

Dating Violence is violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim. 

The existence of such a relationship shall be determined based on the reporting party’s statement and with consideration of the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the persons involved in the relationship. 

Dating violence includes, but is not limited to, sexual or physical abuse or the threat of such abuse. Dating violence does not include acts included under the definition of domestic violence.

Domestic Violence is a violent crime (either a felony or misdemeanor) committed by: 

  1. A current or former spouse or intimate partner of the victim;
  2. A person with whom the victim shares a child in common;
  3. A person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse or intimate partner;
  4. A parent, child, step-parent or step-child, sibling (full or half), grandparent or grandchild of the victim;
  5. The victim’s mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law or sister-in-law, if he or she resides in the same home with the victim; or
  6. Any other person who cohabits or, within the previous 12 months, cohabitated with the victim.

Hate crimes are defined for Clery Act purposes as certain crimes committed against a person or property when such crimes are motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender's (perpetrator's) bias.  Bias is defined as a performed negative opinion toward a group of persons based on their race, gender, religion, ethnic/national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. These crimes are:

  • murder and non-negligent manslaughter,
  • forcible and non-forcible sex offenses,
  • robbery,
  • aggravated assault,
  • burglary,
  • motor vehicle theft,
  • arson,
  • larceny-theft,
  • simple assault,
  • intimidation (unlawfully placing another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm through the use of threatening words and/or other conduct but without displaying a weapon or subjecting the victim to actual physical attack), and
  • destruction/ damage/ vandalism to property.

Motor vehicle theft, which is defined as the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. (This classification also includes “joyriding”).  Motor vehicle is defined broadly to include not only cars and trucks but any self-propelled vehicle that runs on land surface and not on rails, such as golf carts, motor scooters, motorized wheelchairs, and ATVs.

Murder and Non-negligent manslaughter is the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.

Negligent manslaughter is the killing of another person through gross negligence.

Robbery is the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, and control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

A sex offense is any of the following:  

  • Rape - The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim
  • Fondling - The touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim.  
  • Incest—Sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.
  • Statutory Rape—Sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent. In Virginia, the age of consent is 18, although there are exceptions for intercourse between minors aged 13-17; these exceptions are complex and to ensure appropriate reporting, all sexual intercourse with a minor should be reported.

Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to:

  1. Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others; or
  2. Suffer substantial emotional distress. Such distress does not have to be severe enough to require medical or other professional treatment or counseling in order to be substantial emotional distress. 

Stalking requires two or more acts, including but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates, to or about, a person, or interferes with a person’s property.

This Appendix last updated September 2015.