Understanding Title IX Offenses
Title IX is a federal civil rights law that was enacted in 1972 to protect students at publicly-funded schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S. from sex-based discrimination. Although it primarily aims to prevent gender discrimination, it has had a broader impact in exposing sexual assault and other serious sex crimes in educational establishments.
In Maine, most universities and colleges receive government funding, and thus, are required to comply with Title IX regulations. These regulations mandate that all educational establishments must have a Title IX compliance policy, a process in place for handling complaints, and a nominated Title IX coordinator.
Despite the spotlight on sexual discrimination and misconduct in recent times, Title IX allegations are on the rise. Many complaints involve hiring policies or the exclusion of students based on their gender. However, the legislation also covers more serious sexual offenses, including sexual assault, rape, dating or domestic violence, stalking, distribution of sensitive media, and incest.
At Spodek Law Group, we have a deep understanding of the law and the experience necessary to handle any legal situation.
False Title IX Accusations: What Should You Do?
If you are falsely accused under Title IX, it can be a distressing experience. However, it is important to remember that it is only an accusation, and everyone is innocent until proven guilty under the U.S. Constitution. With the right attorney, you can clear your name, even if it is not a criminal case.
At Spodek Law Group, we recommend that you take the following steps to protect yourself from further reputational damage:
Speak to a qualified Title IX defense attorney: Our attorneys will advise you on your legal options, rights, and the recommended next steps.
Gather evidence: Safeguard any information that supports your version of events. Create a timeline and go through what happened with your lawyer.
Refer to the school’s code of conduct: Every school must have a Title IX policy and procedure document, which should be freely available to its academic community. Our attorneys will read this to ensure that your school follows the correct Title IX procedure in your case.
Avoid contact with the complainant: Our attorneys will advise you not to talk to the complainant or anyone else at the school about the incident.
With calm, decisive action, we can help you protect yourself from further reputational damage and clear your name.
The Pressure to Investigate and Adjudicate Title IX Complaints
In Title IX cases, schools are under considerable pressure to investigate and adjudicate complaints promptly. Unfortunately, accused individuals may not enjoy the same presumption of innocence until proven guilty that is afforded to defendants in the criminal justice system.
At Spodek Law Group, we understand that the burden of proof is generally lower in Title IX cases than in criminal cases. Schools often use a standard of proof that assumes guilt is more likely than innocence, rather than the criminal “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.
Our Title IX attorneys can protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair hearing. With our experienced legal representation, you can improve your chances of a successful outcome.
What Constitutes Evidence in a Title IX Investigation?
In Title IX investigations, evidence is crucial. Sexual misconduct cases often come down to “he says, she says” scenarios, and the burden of proof may not be very high. While hearsay and rumors may not be considered evidence in court, they can count against you in a Title IX case.
At Spodek Law Group, our Title IX attorneys will seek other evidence beyond your statement of innocence. This may include witness statements, character assessments, disciplinary statements, and any relevant texts, emails, images, and other documents to build a robust case in your defense.
We understand the gravity of false allegations and the impact they can have on your reputation and your long-term finances. Even an accusation can negatively impact your career and close doors that would otherwise have been open to you.
If found guilty, the direct punishments from the school can include expulsion, probation, mandatory counseling, payment of reparations, community service, withholding of degree conferral, being banned from participating in graduation ceremonies, and even being subject to a criminal investigation by the District Attorney.
At Spodek Law Group, our Title IX defense attorneys will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and ensure that justice is served. We know how to navigate the complexities of Title IX regulations and how to hold schools accountable for their actions and decisions.
How We Can Help Defend Your Title IX Accusation
Facing false accusations can be overwhelming, and your chances of a favorable outcome are greatly improved by accepting experienced legal assistance. At Spodek Law Group, we have a team of seasoned Title IX defense attorneys who are up-to-date with the latest Title IX regulations and how they are applied in the Maine educational system.
Our attorneys will protect your rights, ensure that the school follows its own policies, and provide you with the best opportunity for justice to prevail. We will scrutinize Title IX policy documents in schools and ask the right questions to uncover the truth.
Even if your school does not permit an attorney to represent you at your hearing, you have the right to a legal advisor to be present during the investigation and while your case is heard. Our Title IX defense attorneys will be by your side, providing you with the legal guidance and support you need.
If you need assistance with a Title IX accusation, contact Spodek Law Group today. Our attorneys are here to help you fight back against false allegations and clear your name.