American University handles all violations of Title IX promptly and diligently, especially in cases involving sexual misconduct. The school provides an in-depth Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy on its school website that covers gender-based discriminatory behaviors that will not be tolerated, how to report violations, and how the university will choose to resolve these reports of prohibited behavior.
The Department of Education has taken a special interest in how schools are handling sexual misconduct reports, after they have collectively been accused of sweeping said cases under the rug throughout the years. In an effort to deter this behavior, the department has claimed that schools who do not respond to these reports in its likeness will be at risk of losing some or all of its federal funding. With so much at stake for schools, they will take every case involving sexual misconduct incredibly seriously. This is why it's important that you, as an accused student, understand your school's policies and processes.
American University Sexual Misconduct Policy
Whenever a complaint regarding any form of sexual misconduct - sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape etc. - is filed, the process for resolving this incident will be initiated by the school. These efforts entail an investigation procedure that will be launched to help school a Title IX coordinator obtain clarification about the incident. In the midst of this procedure, students who file a complaint or are the alleged victim in a complaint is known as a “complainant,” while the student who is facing the allegations will be called the “respondent.” All colleges and universities in compliance with Title IX are required to devote resources to both the complainant and the respondent. No-contact orders are granted to protect an accuser from retaliation, while campus resources like a psychiatrist and counselor should be available to both parties.
In most cases, investigations conducted by American University will be led by the school's Title IX coordinator - a person who has been trained to enforce Title IX's processes on campus. He or she will be responsible for assigning an investigator to gather facts about the case. The investigator's duties entail meeting with each party separately, retrieving a statement of both of their account of events, and getting the stories of witnesses suggested by each party. Once enough evidence has been gathered, and both sides of the story have been told, a hearing will be scheduled to resolve the issue.
A hearing will be led by a chairperson of the board. The main goal of a hearing is for a panel comprised of students, faculty and school authorities to determine the guilt or innocence of a respondent. Each party is granted several rights throughout the process, which includes the presentation of evidence and witnesses, cross-examination, and final statements regarding each perceived account of events. After each side has been heard, the panel will deliberate and make a decision by using the preponderance of evidence standard.
Title IX Advisor
If you are facing sexual misconduct or any other Title IX violation, you are entitled to an advisor of your choosing. Since a guilty determination of your case could lead to dire repercussions, you should choose an attorney to help guide you through this process. Contact skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento today for help.
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing disciplinary cases in Washington, D.C. and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Joseph D. Lento can help.