Is your child facing allegations of sexual misconduct at Yale University? If so, this can be an incredibly scary and confusing time. Your entire family worked hard for years to ensure that your student had the chance to study at Yale - and, now, it seems that one alleged incident might bring all of that effort tumbling to the ground.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way.
Yale University takes sexual misconduct extremely seriously. However, if you work with a legal advisor with experience in this field, you'll be able to navigate due process, build a strong case for your student's innocence, and work towards a favorable outcome.
Don't let your student's past affect their bright future. Take steps now to protect your student's rights during sexual misconduct adjudication procedures at Yale University.
Updates to Title IX Policies at Yale University
In mid-2020, the United States government released updates to Title IX, a federal law that had previously provided a framework for US universities to handle sexual misconduct cases. Many academic institutions responded to this update by slightly updating their policies while emphasizing that they would always work to keep their students safe.
Yale is one such institution. A Yale News piece from August 12, 2020 states that, while some procedures would change, the heart of Yale's sexual misconduct policy would remain the same. According to the piece, the updates Yale made did not affect any of the following:
- Yale's standard for affirmative consent
- The types of behavior that Yale considers as sexual misconduct
- The support and remedies available to those experiencing sexual misconduct
- The standard of proof in formal processes
- The penalties Yale can recommend on a guilty party
What has changed are a few procedural elements of the way Yale will adjudicate and investigate misconduct: cross-examination of witnesses, for example, and the responsibility for the final decision in a sexual misconduct case now falls to the hearing panel, not to the deans or provost alone.
Yale University: Sexual Misconduct Processes and Policies
The Sexual Misconduct Response and Prevention office at Yale details the types of actions that Yale deems illicit, as well as the definition of consent and an overview of due process.
What is sexual misconduct?
Sexual misconduct encompasses a wide array of behaviors, including sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic or dating violence, voyeurism, and other actions. However, the basic definition refers to any sexual conduct that occurs without consent - or that harms another person. However, violence is not necessary for an action to be misconduct. Taking and distributing photographs or recordings of an intimate encounter is misconduct, as is exposing yourself to another without consent.
What is consent?
Yale defines consent as “positive, unambiguous, and voluntary agreement to engage in specific sexual activity throughout a sexual encounter.” One cannot infer or assume this agreement. Participants in an encounter can revoke consent at any time, and consent does not extend from past events to separate, future ones.
What will happen after an allegation of sexual misconduct?
After a student makes an allegation against another, that information goes to the Executive Committee at Yale University. With the assistance of an advisor - a fact-finder who will conduct a thorough investigation regarding the alleged event - the Executive Committee will notify all involved parties, oversee the investigation and hearing, and recommend punitive measures.
The Summary of Key Provisions for Students reminds your student that they have rights in a sexual misconduct case, including the right to representation, a fair hearing, written notifications regarding the status of their case, and the right to ask questions and receive answers during the investigation and hearing.
Your student will also have the opportunity to appeal this decision for a short time after the final hearing.
The Penalties Your Student Can Expect at Yale University
If the Executive Committee finds that your student is responsible for the alleged incident, they will recommend punitive or restorative measures for your student. For a full list of the penalties the Committee can assign, refer to the Yale Code of Conduct. This document notes that your student could expect:
- A reprimand
- A restriction, or a loss of certain privileges for a decided-upon length of time
- Probation, or a time where your student is under increased supervision
- Suspension, or a time where Yale decides that impermanent separation between itself and your student is the best course of action
- Expulsion, or more permanent separation
- Referral for external prosecution
This list is already enough, but even these dramatic repercussions are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what your student may have to deal with. A sexual misconduct investigation and hearing can impact your student's reputation on campus severely - even if the University promises to keep all information confidential.
Further, having an incident of sexual misconduct on your student's permanent record can make aspects of your student's future much more difficult. That information could affect your student when they're pursuing subsequent academic opportunities, scholarships, and even jobs.
You need to make sure that doesn't happen. Work with a smart, seasoned Title IX and sexual misconduct advisor today, so you know exactly how to best protect your student's future.
Joseph D. Lento: An Experienced Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Advisor
Right now, you might be confused and worried about your student's sexual misconduct allegations at Yale University. With an investigation, meetings, paperwork, a formal hearing, and sanctions possibly looming before you and your child, that makes sense. Joseph D. Lento can help with all of this and more. For years, Joseph D. Lento has been assisting students across the nation with aggressive legal defense in sexual misconduct cases. Whether Yale adjudicates your student's case through an investigation or a formal hearing, Joseph D. Lento will help you work towards a successful outcome.
For more information, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or contact us through our online form.