Are you facing accusations of sexual misconduct? If so, it's hard to know where to turn. There's a lot at stake, and the University of Southern California takes cases of sexual misconduct very seriously.
It's important to know that there are steps you can take to protect your rights. After all, you've worked hard to get to the University of Southern California. Don't let an unfair allegation ruin your future.
USC: Your School's Sexual Misconduct Policy
At USC, there is a university-wide approach to making sure that every student and staff member feels safe. In your school's Policy on Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment, USC makes it clear that sexual misconduct is illicit. Examples of prohibited conduct could include:
- Ridicule, abuse, or derogatory comments regarding another person's gender or orientation
- Pursuing, following, or waiting for someone with sexual intent
- Showing up uninvited at someone else's home with sexual intent
- Unwelcome touching or other physical conduct
- Inappropriate displays of affection
- Sexual violence
As you can see, there is a wide range of actions that could result in a complaint and a sexual misconduct procedure. As USC encourages anyone who sees or experiences sexual misconduct to report, it could be extremely easy to face an unwarranted or false accusation of misconduct.
Unfortunately, in such an instance, your university may subconsciously side with the perceived victim. You have rights in a sexual misconduct trial, which include:
- The right to receive all information related to your case in a timely manner
- The right to seek representation through your case
- The right to appeal
- The right to a fair trial
- The right to submit questions and receive answers
- The right to as much privacy as is possible through your case
- The right to reasonably prompt time frames for investigations, hearings, and University-made decisions
In addition, it's important to note that USC obliges both parties participate in all activities relating to the investigation.
Just because you have these rights does not mean that your specific investigation will be objective and fair. You need to find a way to hold USC accountable for your stated rights.
Hiring a top-tier sexual misconduct lawyer is the best way to do so. Your experienced legal advisor will review your rights and fight aggressively to make sure your school holds to them.
USC: Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Due Process
When a complainant (or the person accusing you) approaches the University of Southern California with an allegation of sexual misconduct, that report will go to the USC Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX. That office will decide whether to dismiss the report or to recommend informal or formal resolution processes.
An informal meeting might turn into a formal hearing. The University can change course, depending on how the investigation and other fact-gathering operations proceed.
During the fact-gathering process, the University will interview witnesses, scour social media and any other relevant documents, obtain and analyze medical records, review any prior or subsequent conduct by either party, and otherwise use all streams of data at their disposal to inform their decision.
After USC determines guilt, it will officially recommend sanctions, targeted education, or other penalties. You will have an opportunity to appeal that decision, but you should only do so if you obtain previously unknown information that will likely impact the University's decision. Alternatively, if you have proof that there was a procedural irregularity in your case, you may be able to throw out your case.
In either event, working with an experienced legal team will be crucial. A lawyer with distinct experience with sexual misconduct and student defense cases can help you.
You should contact a lawyer as soon as you realize you're involved in due process. Even if it feels like you could just take care of the matter yourself in a no-action or informal case, you need to manage the potential long-term consequences of involvement in sexual misconduct.
The Consequences of Alleged Sexual Misconduct at USC
After your hearing, the University of Southern California may determine that you are the one responsible for the alleged incident. As a result, they may recommend specific punitive repercussions. According to the student code of conduct, these actions may include:
- Conduct warnings
- Indefinite Expulsion
- Ineligibility to hold student office
- Ineligibility for merit- or need-based funding (including any funding you may have already earned)
- Removal from sports teams or other groups representing the school
- Loss of privileges (such as campus parking or extracurricular activities)
- Loss of campus housing
As you can see, there's a lot at stake in your case! Unfortunately, that's far from the totality of consequences that you may face. A sexual misconduct allegation can tarnish your immediate reputation. If it goes on your permanent academic record, that allegation can make going to a new school, applying for scholarships and financial aid, and even trying to get a great job extremely difficult.
Ultimately, this alleged incident could end up impacting a large amount of your life. That's an unfair burden to hold. Instead of letting an unwarranted accusation dictate your future, turn to an experienced legal team. The right lawyer can assist with building a strong case so you can work towards a favorable outcome.
Joseph D. Lento: A Sexual Misconduct Advisor Ready to Help You
If you face accusations of sexual misconduct, you are likely frustrated, confused, and scared. You need experience and expertise on your side. Joseph D. Lento is ready to assist with both. For many years, Joseph D. Lento has worked tirelessly to defend students at universities across the nation from unfair sexual misconduct claims. He will do the same for you. USC resolves your case informally or through a hearing, Joseph D. Lento will help you prepare and aggressively represent you to protect your rights. For more information about how we can help you, reach out to the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.