If you or someone you know has been accused of sexual misconduct at a college or university, it is important to remember that this is a serious matter that cannot be handled alone. The consequences of such allegations can be severe, including expulsion and damage to one’s reputation. However, there is help available in the form of an advisor who can assist you through the investigation and hearing. In fact, having an attorney as your advisor can greatly increase your chances of success.
Title IX Sexual Misconduct
At SCAD, most allegations of sexual misconduct are dealt with using Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sexual discrimination on college campuses. If an investigation is opened against you by the Title IX Coordinator, you will receive written notice of the charges and details about the allegation. You have rights under Title IX, including the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the right to an advisor who may be an attorney, and the right to review evidence in your case.
An Investigator will be assigned to collect physical evidence and interview witnesses. Once their investigation is complete, they submit a summary of their findings to the Coordinator who sets a date for a formal hearing. At this live hearing, both parties may argue their case using evidence and witness testimony. The Hearing Officer(s) then determine whether or not you are responsible for violating school policy based on a “Preponderance of Evidence” standard.
If found responsible, sanctions may include warnings, counseling mandates or suspension/expulsion from academic housing or even entire institution for sexually assaulting somebody else while being enrolled in educational institutions.
Non-Title IX Cases
It is also worth noting that Trump administration guidelines released in 2020 banned schools from investigating sexual misconduct accusations occurring off campus; however many have rewritten policies expressly covering these “non-Title IX” cases. Schools do not have any obligation in following due process rules when dealing with non-Title IX cases.
SCAD lists various sanctions that could be levied for sexual misconduct violations in their grievance procedures. These include warnings, mandated counseling, removal from housing and probation. However, school’s policy clearly states that a minimum sanction for sexual assault is one-year suspension whereas elsewhere the school mentions expulsion too.
Todd Spodek Can Help You
If you are seeking assistance in defending yourself against an allegation of sexual misconduct at a college or university, Todd Spodek can help. As a fully-qualified defense attorney with experience representing students in these cases and specialization in Title IX law; he can assist you throughout the entire process to ensure fair treatment and justice. To learn more about how he can help you, contact the Spodek Law Group today via phone or automated online form.