If you or your student stands accused of sexual misconduct, you may wonder - what happens next? Is there anything you can do to protect your child's future?
After all, your student is at Caltech. You've worked hard to make that happen. You don't want to see your investment and effort spoiled because of a sexual misconduct case on your student's record.
Unfortunately, sexual misconduct does happen at Caltech. In their 2019 Campus Climate Survey, 9% of students surveyed reported at least one incident of nonconsensual sexual contact.
Moreover, the Caltech student community said in their survey responses that Caltech is "supportive of individuals who report sexual assault or sexual misconduct”, and that, when a student makes an allegation, “Institute officials would be very or extremely likely to take the sexual assault or sexual misconduct complaint seriously”.
What does this mean for your child? What steps do you need to make to ensure that their sexual misconduct allegation does not ruin their future?
Hiring an experienced Title IX and sexual misconduct legal advisor is a good way to begin. Your legal team can work to build a strong case for your child's innocence.
Caltech and Recent Title IX Updates
In 2020, the United States Government made changes to Title IX - the law that, previously, had governed the vast majority of sexual misconduct cases at publicly-funded academic institutions.
The new Title IX updates and requirements, according to a letter from Caltech's president in May of 2020, “narrow the scope of misconduct covered under Title IX,” and also “introduce specific requirements” for procedural elements (like witness interviews).
Caltech's president notes in his letter that the government's updates do not preclude schools from adjudicating sexual misconduct outside of Title IX's specific scope. Caltech has made it clear that they will abide by the new regulations, but still work continuously to make its disciplinary processes fair - and its community and grounds a safe place for students.
Caltech: Your School's Sexual Misconduct Policy
Caltech's Equity and Title IX Office has a host of resources for students to learn more about sexual misconduct, as well as policies and specific reporting information. The Office makes clear that students should feel free to report, saying, “do not overthink how to categorize your concern or whether it even qualifies for any category of misconduct.”
This establishes a protective atmosphere for victims of sexual misconduct. It also allows for an environment rife with unwarranted, misstated, or exaggerated allegations.
According to Caltech's Sex- and Gender-Based Misconduct policy, prohibited sexual misconduct may include the following actions:
- Sending unwanted jokes that involve sexual material to a student or work email list
- Displaying graphic pictures in common areas (at work, or in Caltech residential areas)
- Using derogatory language of a sexual nature
- Excluding persons from a group or activity because of their sex or gender
- Unwelcome or graphic comments about another person's body
- Unwanted obscene communications
- Unwelcome touching or sexual advances
- Promising a benefit in exchange for sexual activity
Clearly, there is a wide range of actions that could qualify as sexual misconduct. As soon as you are aware that your student faces sexual misconduct charges, you need to contact a seasoned legal team. Learning as much as you can about what happened without damaging your student's reputation is key for putting together a successful defense.
Due Process at Caltech: Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Resolution Procedures
Once one student makes an allegation against another at Caltech, that information goes to the Title IX coordinator at your school. The Title IX coordinator will assess the complaint, gather an investigational team if necessary, and begin to work towards uncovering the facts in your child's case.
Importantly, your child has rights during this process. These include written notification of all sexual misconduct allegations, the right to adequate representation, the right to ask questions and receive answers during the process, and the right to a fair hearing. If at any point, you believe that Caltech is overlooking your student's rights, you need to make note of that.
After Caltech issues a determination of guilt, your student will have a short time to appeal. Any procedural irregularities - such as, for example, overlooked rights - could constitute grounds for an appeal.
The Consequences of Sexual Misconduct at Caltech
When your student faces sexual misconduct charges, you need to know the specific penalties they could accrue. The Caltech Sexual Misconduct policy makes it clear that the school takes this type of conduct very seriously. Caltech may recommend a wide array of penalties, including
- Reduction of privileges and extracurricular activities
- Reduced eligibility for financial aid and scholarships
- Mandatory therapy or counseling
- Community service
However, these immediate penalties are far from the only consequences your child will face. When your student stands accused of sexual misconduct, their reputation will take a direct hit. This type of case on their academic record could make it much more difficult for them to apply to other schools, or even for them to get the job that they want later in life.
When you're working to manage a sexual misconduct allegation, you need a good lawyer on your side to protect your student's future. This is the best way to ensure that your student experiences a good outcome after their hearing.
Joseph D. Lento, An Experienced Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Lawyer
When you're fighting a sexual misconduct charge at Caltech, you need to have experienced, expert legal help in order to protect your student's future. Joseph D. Lento has, for years, aggressively represented students across the nation, successfully bringing Title IX and sexual misconduct cases to a favorable outcome and ensuring a fair process throughout. Whether Caltech will be resolving your student's case through a formal investigation and hearing or informally, having the best legal representation possible will help your child immeasurably. Joseph D. Lento is here to assist with the help that you need. For more information about our services, reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or contact us online.