Can a university discipline a student for sexual misconduct even if the student is not convicted of a crime?

The answer is almost unequivocally yes. The school proceeding is a completely separate proceeding from any criminal proceeding. A school proceeding often moves much more quickly than a criminal case, so the school case often would take place much earlier in time than a criminal case would. The argument could be made, if the student is found responsible in a Title IX sexual misconduct case at the school and is later, say, found not guilty in a criminal case, that the decision of the school should be, say, overturned or reconsidered.

Arguably though, if a student is not found guilty in a criminal court does not mean that they did not in fact commit the crime or the offense. It's just that it means that they were found not guilty. That's a very complicated consideration. That's why an experienced attorney/advisor needs to be involved in the Title IX case from the start to help protect the student's rights and interests, to gauge the case, to advise a client as to what's going to be in their best interest. You have to take the necessary steps. Having someone in your corner from the start is critical.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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