Can Accused Students Sue Colleges For Mishandling Sexual Misconduct Complaints?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 09, 2020 | 0 Comments

At the University of Northern Colorado, a student is suing after sexual misconduct allegations resulted in his two-year suspension from the college. In his lawsuit, Torrence Brown-Smith, 22, asks for a jury trial, seeks to reverse the school's decision, and be paid for damages. He alleges that the university's investigation of the misconduct allegations was insufficient and biased, as all of the authority figures involved were white. In addition to his race, Brown-Smith feels he faced discrimination during the investigation because he is a male student.

According to the filing, the woman who pursued the sexual misconduct complaint against Brown-Smith initially “reciprocated his advances” when he tried to kiss her. After she demonstrated reluctance and resistance, he responded appropriately: “When Brown-Smith [sensed] he did not have consent, the filing says he stopped his advances.” Despite these claims, Brown-Smith has suffered because the school mishandled his case.

Long-Term Consequences of Misconduct Allegations

Brown-Smith is right to fight what he considers false and mishandled sexual misconduct charges, as the penalties and long-term consequences of these allegations can be severe. In many states, sexual misconduct is a misdemeanor or even a felony, and punishment may include jail time and hefty fines. Additionally, a student may face other types of disciplinary action, including being suspended or expelled from their college or university.

As with any type of conviction, sexual misconduct charges can seriously limit one's future education, career, and earning opportunity and potential. New regulations regarding sexual assault and misconduct on college campuses offer some protection to accused students, as the definition of what constitutes sexual harassment has been narrowed and refined, and schools must now permit all parties to participate in a live hearing in an attempt to resolve charges.

However, countless students are still expelled due to sexual misconduct charges, though many of them are fighting back. The number of students taking legal action against colleges and universities for false or mishandled sexual misconduct cases is on the rise. While protecting the rights of assault survivors is certainly vital, making sure the rights of the accused don't get trampled by false charges or lack of legal representation is also essential to creating a college experience where all students feel safe and welcome.

The Benefits of Choosing an Experienced Attorney

When facing sexual misconduct or sexual assault charges, it's important to choose an attorney who has experience in Title IX and other similar code of conduct cases. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has handled hundreds of sexual misconduct cases, meaning Mr. Lento knows how to navigate this complex legal environment and pursue appropriate action against schools and universities that have mishandled charges against students.

If you attend a college or university and have been accused of sexual misconduct, it is imperative you speak with an attorney. Your education and your future career may depend upon the outcome of your case. Contact skilled sexual misconduct advisor and legal professional Joseph D. Lento today for assistance at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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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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