Report to Police

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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How do I report to the police?

You may report to the police independently from reporting to the university. If the incident occurred on-campus, call 911 if it is an emergency or call the Stanford Department of Public Safety's non-emergency number (650-329-2413) or you can go to the police station (711 Serra St) to report in person.

For an off-campus incident, call the police jurisdiction where the crime occured. The two closest jurisdictions to Stanford are:
Palo Alto, call 911 or (650) 329-2307
Menlo Park, call 911 or (650) 325-4424

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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 decide to 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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