Sexual misconduct is serious. It can traumatize, trigger, and harm. When students are preparing for college, they generally picture four years of studies and social activities - not sexual assault. When sexual assault happens, it can have lasting consequences on all involved.
Since the ramifications of these types of unfortunate events can last for years, Colorado colleges must have measures in place to ensure that all students are safe. Until very recently, the primary law that governed all occasions of student sexual misconduct was Title IX.
Under Title IX, all federally-funded schools must investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct (including assault and harassment) or risk losing their funding. Of course, just because a school needs to investigate misconduct does not mean that it has the tools to do so correctly. Many students who find themselves unjustly accused of sexual assault have also found that their Colorado schools mistreat them throughout investigative procedures.
If you or someone you love faces Title IX or sexual misconduct grievance procedures at your Colorado school, it is vitally important that you seek legal aid at once. Having a code of conduct advisor at your side can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing unfair punishment.
Title IX: The New Guidelines and Your Colorado School
In May of 2020, the United States Department of Education released their updated guidance. In response, many Colorado schools have updated their sexual misconduct and Title IX procedures. For example, the University of Colorado Boulder released a statement in July of 2020 that they are fully cooperating with the new guidelines and that the school was working toward “systemwide implementation of the new rules.” A statewide advocacy group known as the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault noted in August of 2020 that they had provided follow-up recommendations to all Colorado institutions of higher education.
With all of these recent changes, you might be wondering how your Colorado school will manage and adjudicate your specific sexual misconduct case. Ultimately, you may find that there is not much new to navigate.
In many cases, as the nature of the governed allegations remains the same, many Colorado schools may adapt existing Title IX processes to new circumstances. They may also choose to litigate under a dual sexual misconduct and Title IX process.
No matter what specific grievance procedures you may face, you're going to need a knowledgeable advisor to help you wade through paperwork, investigative meetings, hearing preparation, and more. As soon as you can after you learn that you face these processes, contact an attorney with experience handling Title IX cases and sexual misconduct cases.
Protecting Your Rights in a Colorado Sexual Misconduct Case
It's important to remember that once you stand accused of sexual misconduct, you are technically in legal opposition to your school. Anyone who works for your school, even your favorite teacher, is now on the ‘other side.'
To ensure that you don't say or do anything that might hurt your case, you may wish to follow a few guidelines during your investigation:
- Keep confidence with no one. You're likely feeling overwhelmed and scared. However, you don't want to say anything that might compromise your case. Talk to your legal advisor if you need help.
- Make sure to document everything, even if it doesn't seem relevant. The tiniest thing could provide helpful or hurtful information for your case. Ensure your legal advisor has all of the data you can give them: You don't want any surprises during the investigative process.
- Finally, refrain from speaking with your accuser. Particularly if you face unfair, false allegations, you might naturally want to talk with the person who started proceedings against you. This will likely be unproductive, and you may hurt your case. Again, speak to your legal advisor about any plans or communication you may have.
Especially if this is your first time going through the investigative process at your school, you might feel hurt, frustrated, and confused. Talk to your legal advisor about what you're going through - but, otherwise, until your case is complete, don't confide in anyone else. All communication may constitute evidence.
What to Expect During Your Colorado School's Investigative Process
The specific procedures you will experience may vary from school to school. After all, at a federal level, the government only provides recommendations for each school's processes.
The first place you need to check is your specific school's code of conduct. Every school needs to have one. It will contain the particular Title IX or sexual misconduct procedures that you may face. Your school may also have a website for this type of information. For example, the University of Northern Colorado has a page dedicated to Title IX compliance. It also has coordinator contact information and links to learn more about what may lie ahead.
Even though every school's specific approach may vary, there will be procedures to expect no matter where in Colorado you are. You should likely prepare for the following events:
- Official confirmation from your school of the allegations against you
- Formation of an investigative task team
- Collection and analysis of evidence
- A preliminary decision, resulting in a possible invitation to a hearing
- Recommendation for consequences
- A short window in which you can appeal the school's decision
Remember that your school has a vested interest in litigating quickly. Because of this, you must find an experienced attorney to be on your side.
Joseph D. Lento is Ready to Fight for Your Rights
If you're a college student and stand accused of sexual assault or other misconduct, call on Joseph D. Lento for superior aid. After years of handling hundreds of sexual misconduct cases at universities across the nation, Joseph D. Lento has the experience you need to work towards a favorable outcome. Whether your case is facing adjudication via a hearing or a thorough investigation, we will work tirelessly for you. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to learn more about how he can best help you and your case.
Colorado colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's college sexual misconduct advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Adams State College
- Aims Community College
- American Sentinel University
- Arapahoe Community College
- Argosy University Denver
- Bel Rea Institute of Animal Technology
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy
- College America Colorado Springs
- College America Denver
- College America Fort Collins
- Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
- Colorado Christian University
- Colorado College
- Colorado Heights University
- Colorado Mesa University
- Colorado Mountain College
- Colorado Northwestern Community College
- Colorado School of Healing Arts
- Colorado School of Mines
- Colorado State University Fort Collins
- Colorado State University Pueblo
- Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs
- Colorado Technical University Greenwood Village
- Colorado Technical University Online
- Community College of Aurora
- Community College of Denver
- Denver School of Nursing
- DeVry University Colorado
- Ecotech Institute
- Everest College Aurora
- Everest College Colorado Springs
- Everest College Thornton
- Fort Lewis College
- Front Range Community College
- Institute of Business and Medical Careers
- ITT Technical Institute Aurora
- ITT Technical Institute Westminster
- Johnson & Wales University Denver
- Jones International University
- Lamar Community College
- Metropolitan State College of Denver
- Morgan Community College
- Naropa University
- National American University Centennial
- National American University Colorado Springs
- National American University Colorado Springs South
- National American University Denver
- Nazarene Bible College
- Northeastern Junior College
- Otero Junior College
- Pikes Peak Community College
- Platt College Aurora
- Prince Institute Rocky Mountains
- Pueblo Community College
- Red Rocks Community College
- Redstone College
- Regis University
- Remington College Colorado Springs Campus
- Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
- The Art Institute of Colorado
- Trinidad State Junior College
- United States Air Force Academy (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- University of Colorado Boulder
- University of Colorado Denver
- University of Colorado Colorado Springs
- University of Denver
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Phoenix Colorado Campus
- University of Phoenix Southern Colorado Campus
- Western State Colorado University
- Westwood College Denver North
- Westwood College Denver South
It is critical to make certain the college sexual misconduct investigation at your Colorado school is handled properly and that the accused student's interests are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. One major reason is because even at colleges and universities where a finding of responsibility for sexual misconduct charges is made at a hearing, the investigation will set the stage for what the hearing panel is provided prior to a hearing (and what the hearing panel will in large part rely on at a hearing), and at schools where the finding of responsibility is made solely through the investigative process, what takes place during the investigation itself will determine whether the accused is found responsible or not responsible for college sexual misconduct charges.
Unfortunately, some students, families, and college employees make the mistake of not taking the necessary precautions as soon as possible when accused of sexual misconduct at college. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their college or university will be fair and impartial and will arrive at the truth. In a perfect world this may be the case, but in a perfect world, sexual misconduct cases would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation for many years, Joseph D. Lento knows how important it is to mount the strongest defense because he understands that an accused's academic and professional future is on the line. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a college sexual misconduct advisor to students and others in academia facing sexual misconduct investigations and Title IX disciplinary cases in Colorado and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National College Sexual Misconduct Attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686 or by completing our online form.