Sexual misconduct is a very serious matter. It affects the lives of all parties involved in inescapable, life-long ways. Since this is the case, Stanford University treats all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously.
If your child faces any allegations of sexual misconduct at Stanford University, you might be confused - and concerned. Having sexual misconduct on their academic record might impact your child's future educational and job prospects. Now is the time to step in and work hard to protect your child and their rights.
Hiring a smart, seasoned Title IX and sexual misconduct lawyer is the best way to work towards a favorable outcome for your student's sexual misconduct case. Otherwise, your family risks the bright future for your child that you have been investing in for a very long time.
Stanford University: Recent Updates to Title IX
According to an August 2020 article from Stanford News, Stanford University implemented wide-sweeping updates to their sexual misconduct policies in response to the federal government's action. Previously, the civil rights law known as “Title IX” had governed the vast majority of sexual misconduct cases occurring at United States universities. After the update, Title IX had a more specific scope - forcing many schools with Title IX policies to revise their procedures.
The article noted that Stanford would protect its students regardless of federal mandates. “Stanford is taking steps beyond the scope of the regulations to ensure an appropriate response to all allegations,” said the senior vice provost for institutional equity and access.
While Stanford will implement some updates due to the federal regulations, such as cross-examination of witnesses and the opportunity to request informal resolution, the experience of an accused student undergoing Stanford's due process will largely remain the same.
Your University's Sexual Misconduct Policies and Grievance Procedures
Stanford begins its sexual misconduct policy with a few helpful definitions. From these definitions, the University derives its list of prohibited actions. The definitions include the following:
What is sexual misconduct?
When one person commits any unwanted sexual act against another, that constitutes sexual misconduct. This is the case regardless of whether the parties involved know each other.
What is sexual assault?
Any attempted, threatened, or actual unwanted sexual act is sexual assault. Regardless of familiarity between the involved parties, any sexual act that occurs against the victim's will due to force, duress, violence, fear, or fraud falls under the definition of sexual assault. Additionally, whenever the victim cannot give consent due to being incapacitated, unaware, unconscious, or asleep, the University considers any sexual actions to be sexual assault.
What is consent?
“Informed, freely given, and mutually understood”: This affirmative statement or act by each participant must precede any sexual act. Without consent, any sexual activity that happens is sexual misconduct. This is true regardless of a person's seeming inability to give consent. There is no consent in cases that involve threats or violence.
Under Stanford's Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Assault Policy, anyone who sees sexual misconduct happening has a duty to report it to campus authorities.
Once Stanford University receives this type of information, the University will decide the kind of mediation process to implement. The Office of Community Standards typically oversees the judicial process whenever a student stands accused of violating any of the student codes of conduct.
Within one week of the initial complaint, the Office of Community Standards will notify all involved parties in writing. The Office will assign each party a Judicial Advisor to guide them through the disciplinary process. That advisor will answer any questions your student has during the subsequent investigation, analysis of evidence, and gathering of witnesses.
Stanford University will hold a formal hearing for severe cases. Your student has a right to a fair hearing, as well as the right to have adequate, skilled representation at that hearing. Though Stanford might have an attorney that your student can work with, it's always best to find your own loyal-to-you legal aid.
After the hearing, Stanford will issue a recommendation for academic penalties. Your student may appeal, but in many cases, that decision is final. To avoid punishments that could follow your child for the rest of their life, you need to find a good lawyer, quickly, to help build a case for your student's innocence.
Stanford University and Potential Punitive Measures for Sexual Misconduct
You and your student may both wonder what type of ramifications they may face for their alleged conduct. Stanford University will mete out restorative or punitive measures as it sees fit, based on what the University learns about the incident during your student's investigation. The list of suggested disciplinary actions is in the Stanford University code of conduct. You child could expect any of the following repercussions:
- Formal Warning
- Deprivation of Rights and Privileges
- Community Service
- Delayed Degree Conferral
- Conditional Suspension
Even though this list of potential academic penalties seems long, there's much more that your student could ultimately face. With an allegation of sexual misconduct on their permanent record, your student could have a very difficult time applying for future academic opportunities, scholarships, or even getting their career started successfully when the time comes.
To ensure that an alleged incident doesn't impact your student's bright future, you need to work with a clever, capable sexual misconduct and Title IX advisor as early on in the process as you can.
Joseph D. Lento is Ready to Help You Protect Your Student
If your Stanford University student faces sexual misconduct allegations, you are going to need assistance putting together a strong defense to protect your child. For an attorney and legal advisor that has years of experience successfully handling sexual misconduct and Title IX cases at universities across the nation, turn to Joseph D. Lento. Whether Stanford decides to adjudicate your student's case through a hearing or an investigation, Joseph D. Lento will work tirelessly to analyze evidence, the University's code of conduct, and more to build your student's case. Work with Joseph D. Lento today to work towards a favorable outcome. For more information, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or contact us through our online form.