Mere accusations of discriminatory behavior at any school are enough to tarnish a person's reputation and standing in their community. However, the effect of a violation of Title IX - especially sexual misconduct allegations - at a Catholic school, where there are exceedingly high moral expectations, is even more stressful. People you once considered friends, confidants, and even family may start to disassociate themselves with you due to public scrutiny, and there is unspoken assumption that you are guilty before you are even able to defend yourself.
If you are a student or faculty member of the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and are facing any Title IX violations, you should speak to an attorney. You should also know what you are up against when becoming a respondent in a case handled by your school. The Department of Education has taken an interest in how schools are handling sexual misconduct cases, as they have been accused of previously sweeping these incidents under the rug. In an effort to keep this from happening, the department has threatened higher education institutions with the loss of federal funding if schools do not handle these cases promptly and effectively. Ever since this looming threat has been established, schools have taken sexual misconduct extremely seriously.
Catholic University of America Sexual Misconduct Policy
According to the Catholic University of America's sexual misconduct policy, this misconduct in all of its forms - sexual assault, sexual violence, sexual harassment, rate etc. - is “unacceptable behavior that will not be tolerated.” It goes on to say that “violations will be adjudicated to the fullest extent possible.”
Whenever a complaint pertaining to sexual misconduct is submitted, the process for resolving an incident is supposed to be immediately launched by the school. Students who file a complaint or are the alleged victim in a complaint are known as “complainants,” while alleged sexual offenders are known as “respondents.” In the wake of the reported incident, a school will launch an investigation procedure to garner facts about what occurred. All colleges and universities in compliance with Title IX are obligated to provide resources to protect and fulfill the needs of both parties. For example, no-contact orders, campus psychiatrists, and counselors should be available to both complainants and respondents.
In most circumstances, investigations launched by the Catholic University of American will be led by the school's Title IX coordinator. He or she will be responsible for assigning a person to investigate your case. The investigator's duties entail meeting with both parties separately to gather facts and a statement about their prospective account of events. Once enough evidence has been gathered, a hearing will be scheduled to ultimately resolve the issue.
The primary goal of a hearing is for panel members comprised of students, staff, and faculty to determine the guilt or innocence of a respondent based on a preponderance of evidence. During a hearing, each party is reserved the right to present evidence and witnesses that support their version of events, cross-examine each other and make a final statement regarding the case. After each side has been heard, the panel will deliberate and make a decision.
Title IX Advisor
If you are facing allegations of sexual misconduct or any other Title IX violation, you are allowed to choose any person you would like to be your advisor. With so much at stake, it would be wise to select an attorney to help guide you through the 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.