Accused of Sexual Misconduct at University? Here’s How to Defend Yourself
No one expects to face sexual misconduct allegations, but unfortunately, it’s a reality that some students have to deal with. Sexual harassment and assault cases are particularly common on college campuses, where young men and women are still just learning how to navigate close proximity. As a student accused of sexual misconduct, you’re likely feeling a complex range of emotions including shock, fear, and anger. You may be wondering about how you’re going to handle the situation while still attending classes or worried about the accusation becoming public knowledge.
First and foremost, take a deep breath. You can get through this situation. The University of South Carolina has regulations in place that allow you to choose an advisor for defending yourself against charges of sexual misconduct, including an attorney.
Why Choose an Attorney?
Can you fight a charge of sexual misconduct by yourself? Technically yes – but it’s not advisable. Sexual misconduct is a serious allegation and can be difficult to defend against without legal expertise. The university isn’t necessarily on your side; they’ll strive first and foremost to protect themselves from any claims that they didn’t do enough to investigate or prosecute the accused party adequately.
School judicial procedures differ significantly from those that govern criminal court cases. Schools aren’t bound by law to respect your due process rights even when charged with something as grave as sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, depending solely on academic policy may lead you down the wrong path if the rules or guidelines aren’t appropriate for your circumstances.
That’s why contacting an experienced attorney before saying anything potentially damaging is essential; doing so will give you an excellent opportunity for success in defending yourself against allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior.
Dealing With USC
As mentioned earlier, most reports about sexual harassment complaints at the University of South Carolina are made directly access via Title IX Coordinators’ office (now known as Equity and Inclusion Office). Once a complaint is filed, the coordinator will make a determination regarding whether an investigation should proceed and which specific policy your offense falls under. The next step depends on the operation being prosecuted.
Most cases are submitted to Title IX, a statute designed to compel educational institutions to investigate instances of sexual discrimination or harassment. Once the initial investigation is over, current Title IX protocols enable you to receive a hearing where your attorney can represent you and cross-examine any witnesses as well as bring evidence in your favor. It’s vital to keep in mind that these guidelines were only put in place recently during the Trump administration and may change again depending on government priorities.
The few cases not investigating under Title IX are handled according to state regulations, with an investigator appointed by the university to gather evidence and interview witnesses. This single person decides whether you’re guilty; there’s no right given for questioning of either them or any other witness involved.
Once fault is found under either method of prosecution, USC has broad-spectrum authority-ranging from suspension through expulsion-as possible disciplinary actions. You could appeal it on limited grounds after losing but not before new evidence or upon clear indications of prejudice.
Todd Spodek Can Be Your Legal Guide
Facing sexual misconduct allegations isn’t easy-which is why it’s critical to have someone who knows what they’re doing by your side. Todd Spodek specializes in university sexual misconduct cases, offering unparalleled experience protecting clients facing similar situations. His knowledge of both Title IX laws combined with he understands what you’ve endured, making him sympathetic towards his clients’ unique concerns.
If you or your loved ones face allegations of sexual misconduct at the University of South Carolina contact Todd Spodek at 212-300-5196, please complete our automated online form so that we may assist without delay!