If you're facing a sexual misconduct charge at Louisiana State University, you might have no idea what to do next. You might feel like all of your support systems have melted away. You might feel that people are looking at you oddly. You might wonder if there's anything you can do to re-establish your reputation and protect your future.
Fortunately, you do have options. You just need to get started—and you need to work strategically. The Lento Law Firm is here for you as you navigate your school's code of conduct, the potential consequences you may face, file strategic appeals, and more.
Here's what you need to know.
Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policies at Louisiana State University
Title IX is a federal rights law—first initiated as part of the Educational Amendments of 1972. It's a law that you may have heard a lot about in the news, as the types of cases it regulates tend to be hot-button issues. Title IX guides the way that public and private schools in the United States investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct. Since these types of cases are so high-stakes, Title IX receives relatively frequent updates and interpretations—for the past decade or so, a new update with every presidential administration.
Schools across the nation have found that a good way to keep up with the fluctuating governmental guidance while keeping their students safe is to implement dual sexual misconduct policies—one that changes to reflect Title IX updates, and another that is more general. LSU has two policies: A sexual harassment policy, and a Title IX memorandum. As a student going through LSU's sexual misconduct due process, your experience will likely be the same regardless of the specific policy under which the school is investigating your alleged actions.
According to the school's sexual misconduct policy, sexual misconduct is:
“A sexual act or contact of a sexual nature that occurs, regardless of personal relationship, without the consent of the other person(s), or that occurs when the person(s) is unable to give consent or whose consent is coerced or obtained in a fraudulent manner.”
The school goes on to clarify that the types of behaviors punishable as sexual misconduct include:
- Dating violence
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault
- Sexual harassment
Once LSU becomes aware that you have allegedly violated the school's sexual misconduct policy, the school will initiate investigative and adjudicative procedures.
Due Process at Louisiana State University
There are two options for the ways that the school will decide to proceed, based upon the severity of the alleged incident. These options include the informal and formal procedures.
The Informal Procedure involves a complaint made to any administrative official at LSU. After the university receives this complaint, the Office of Human Resource Management will review the information and decide how best to proceed. The university will work to keep the information confidential, and will provide a recommendation for supportive measures through a written document issued to all parties involved.
The Formal Procedure, used in more serious allegations of sexual misconduct, involves a complaint filed with the Office of Human Resource Management. After this is filed, the school will initiate a formal investigation of the alleged incident. Once the school has finished its investigation, it will hold a hearing to give the accused student the opportunity to tell their side of the story. At the end of this hearing, the school will issue a recommendation for disciplinary action.
What Consequences to Expect
In all instances of serious sexual misconduct, the most likely repercussion is suspension, at a minimum, or expulsion from the university. While less drastic punitive measures may technically be on the table, it's quite possible that your relationship with LSU will be at an end when the sexual misconduct case is over. In addition, regardless of the specific consequence, LSU will make a note in your permanent file regarding the disciplinary procedure. This can serve as a major red flag for future employers or academic institutions who would otherwise have been ready to offer you life-changing opportunities.
However, this doesn't have to be the case.
You do have the option to file an appeal with the university if you are able to demonstrate that LSU did not follow its own rules regarding your treatment, or if you have new information that has come to light that was not available during the initial investigation. After you file an appeal, any resultant decisions that the university makes will be final. Since this is the case, it's a good idea to wait until you're working with a professional to file your appeal.
LSU Students, Call the Lento Law Firm for Help with Your Upcoming Misconduct Process and Procedures
At the Lento Law Firm, we want you to know that you're not alone when it comes to fighting sexual misconduct. You might wonder if you have anyone you can rely upon. At your school, this might not be the case.
That's where we come in. Whether you're in need of assistance during your school's investigative or adjudicative procedures, attorney Joseph D. Lento can help. For years, he has provided insightful support to students and families across the nation. He can help you put together an aggressive defense, he can help you write and file persuasive documents, and he can help make sure that your school takes you seriously during upcoming process and procedure.
Don't get scared and overwhelmed about your sexual misconduct allegations. Left alone, they could easily spiral out of control—but you're working with an empathetic, experienced professional. You can work your way out of this. You just have to start today.
Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today, or use our online form to send us a message.