What Is Title IX? Why Do Colleges And Universities Investigate Sexual Harassment And Assault?
Title IX is a federal law that says that colleges and universities cannot discriminate on the basis of sex or gender in education. The reason colleges and universities investigate sexual assault under Title IX is because they believe that allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault fall under the goal and parameters of Title IX. The real problem is that it’s absolutely necessary for a student to contact a lawyer if they have been accused of sexual misconduct or domestic violence in a Title IX campus misconduct proceeding. Rather than try to prove their innocence, they should simply keep quiet and contact an experienced attorney who will do the talking for them.
What Is The Standard Of Proof That Colleges And Universities Apply To Their Investigations And Determinations Of Sexual Assault Claims? How Does That Compare To The Standard Of Proof In Criminal Cases?
In a Title IX campus sexual abuse case, the defendant is not entitled to a beyond a reasonable doubt determination. Frequently, the jury is made up of professors and administrators, and many schools do not even have students participate in the dispute resolution panel. Until very recently, the accused was not allowed to cross-examine or confront the accuser. On that matter, the pendulum has swung back a little bit because of recent case law out of the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, so currently some limited cross examination is now allowed. However, it is not as strong of a protection as it should be. The accused may not be allowed to participate in the hearing in the same room as the accuser, but instead in a Zoom meeting separate from the accuser (this was true even when hearings were taking place in person).
The accused has a right to an advisor, but not necessarily a lawyer, and the lawyer is not always allowed to actively participate. In other words, the lawyer can sit with the accused student, but may not be able to do the questioning and arguing; the student may have to do that for themselves. In addition, the student does not have the right to be presumed innocent or to have the accuser prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The student does not have a right to a trial by their peers, and unanimity in the verdict or the vote is not always required in order to find the student guilty of violating the sexual assault or domestic violence policy.
What Are The Consequences Associated With A Conviction In A Title IX Case?
Finally, the consequences of a Title IX case are enormous; the accused student can be expelled, removed from campus housing, and prevented from coming onto the campus for any reason, including to obtain transcripts. Federal law protects students’ rights to privacy and education, but there will still be a black mark in the accused student’s file. It is very important to take a Title IX accusation every bit as a serious as a criminal charge.
For more information on Campus Title IX Cases In The State Of Michigan, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (248) 509-0056 today.