When you become a college student, a world of opportunity awaits you on-campus. This exciting time includes building skills for your career, networking, and meeting new people. Yet, with the numerous interactions that happen between peers, some may go awry, despite your best intentions. If you face a college sexual misconduct charge, it may disrupt your education and have and far-reaching repercussions.
For respondents and their families, a college sexual misconduct charge has devastating consequences. It leads to feelings of fear, hurt, anger, and confusion, not to mention a sense of anxiety about what it might mean for the future. An attorney-advisor can help you get through the process and work with your family to ensure that you don't face the system alone.
When you receive a charge, hiring an attorney may be your only chance to minimize the damage that it has on your life and reputation. With years of experience handling hundreds of college sexual misconduct cases in Minnesota and across the nation, attorney-advisor Lento passionately fights for your rights. Together, you can create a defense strategy that leads to the best possible outcome for your case.
What is College Sexual Misconduct?
Sexual misconduct includes actions of a non-consensual sexual nature. Examples include sexual violence, sexual assault, manipulation, stalking, date rape, and other similar behaviors.
Due to the implications of sexual violence on campuses and their tendency to create unease and speculation, administrations act swiftly and decisively when responding to such cases.
Although sexual misconduct is a grave charge, both parties deserve fair representation. The respondent still has rights that administrations should not ignore – but they often do, leading to unfair conclusions. Countless students who had a better chance of success did not have a favorable outcome due to a lack of fair representation and treatment during proceedings.
Moreover, colleges in Minnesota are changing their policies to accommodate the more hands-on role that they must now adopt under the amendments to Title IX laws. With little time to prepare and the logistical challenges of COVID-19, some colleges have yet to refine their investigation policies, leaving respondents in limbo.
You do not have to face the process alone, and you have the right to legal counsel. Having the right legal advisor by your side helps boost your chances of success and protects you from unfair treatment.
What Happens if You Face a Sexual Misconduct Accusation?
Facing college sexual misconduct accusations places a label on a person that is difficult to remove. Respondents face damage to their reputation and suspicion from friends and family members. The charge may stay on their permanent record, and in some cases, it may even lead to a court battle.
Some respondents assume that not cooperating or “just getting through” a hearing or investigation is the best course of action. Avoidance is never a sound strategy. With so much at stake, your first step should be contacting an experienced attorney for advice.
How do Colleges Approach Sexual Misconduct Cases?
Every college in Minnesota has a sexual misconduct policy that outlines its definition of sexual misconduct, the college's approach to investigating the issue, and the penalties.
New Title IX laws require college administrations to provide due process during proceedings and now require live hearings and cross-examination. Because of the Title IX Final Rule's narrower scope and schools' expressed intentions to continue to vigorously combat college sexual misconduct, in addition to the federal mandates, colleges in Minnesota are also adopting a dual process investigative system. That means having a dual system with one disciplinary process addressing and adjudicating claims under Title IX and as required by law, and another disciplinary process addressing claims outside of Title IX's jurisdiction but falling under the school's sexual misconduct policies. For example, a hearing will be required under Title IX at all colleges and universities, but it will be at school's discretion whether to allow a hearing, or even cross examination via written format, if sexual misconduct claims fall outside of Title IX's scope.
How Can You Preserve Your Rights?
Preserving your rights should be at the forefront of your defense strategy when you first learn of the accusation. There are several ways to defend yourself, and that includes having evidence ready and witness statements that boost your chances of a favorable outcome. The best way to ensure that the investigation process is fair and comprehensive is by working with a legal advisor.
A legal advisor not only gathers evidence, but they also cross-examine the accuser or witnesses and identify weaknesses or inconsistencies in their statement. Since each case needs a different defense strategy, a lawyer knows what approach works best for your case and boosts your chances of success. Additionally, the sooner you put your school on notice that you are working with an experienced attorney, the better the prospect of a fair process and a favorable outcome.
Hiring a lawyer as soon as you receive notice of a college sexual misconduct charge is critical to success.
Why Contact the Lento Law Firm?
Navigating a college sexual misconduct charge is no easy task, and it's worse when you choose to do so alone. Colleges want to protect victims, but they also have a reputation to maintain. These expectations can to a lack of due process and overly-harsh rulings that alter the lives of a student for years if there is no one calling the school out on such concerns.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento has the knowledge, experience, and drive to fight for your rights aggressively and confidently. Successfully representing hundreds of students in college sexual misconduct cases across the United States, attorney-advisor Lento can handle your case from the start of the process to filing the appeal if necessary.
Attorney Lento knows how harsh and biased some college administrations are and how that interferes with their judgment. You don't have to settle for unfair treatment despite the complexity of the case, and with the Lento Law Firm, you send a message that you are ready to fight for your rights.
Call the Lento Law Firm for a consultation at (888) 535-3686 to fight for your rights and your future. With a sound legal defense strategy and the support of a knowledgeable law firm, you don't have to face one of the darkest times in your life as a student alone.
Minnesota 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:
- Academy College
- Alexandria Technical & Community College
- Anoka Technical College
- Anoka Ramsey Community College
- Argosy University Twin Cities
- Augsburg College
- Bemidji State University
- Bethany Lutheran College
- Bethel University
- Brown College Brooklyn Center
- Brown College Mendota Heights
- Capella University
- Carleton College
- Central Lakes College Brainerd
- Century Community and Technical College
- College of Saint Benedict
- College of Visual Arts
- Concordia College at Moorhead
- Concordia University Saint Paul
- Crossroads College
- Crown College Saint
- Dakota County Technical College
- DeVry University Minnesota
- Duluth Business University
- Dunwoody College of Technology
- Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College
- Globe University Minneapolis
- Globe University Woodbury
- Gustavus Adolphus College
- Hamline University
- Hennepin Technical College
- Herzing University Minneapolis
- Hibbing Community College A Technical and Community College
- Institute of Production and Recording
- Inver Hills Community College
- Itasca Community College
- ITT Technical Institute Brooklyn Center
- ITT Technical Institute Eden Prairie
- Lake Superior College
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Minneapolis
- Macalester College
- Martin Luther College
- McNally Smith College of Music
- Mesabi Range Community and Technical College
- Metropolitan State University
- Minneapolis Business College
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College
- Minnesota School of Business Blaine
- Minnesota School of Business Brooklyn Center
- Minnesota School of Business Elk River
- Minnesota School of Business Lakeville
- Minnesota School of Business Moorhead
- Minnesota School of Business Plymouth
- Minnesota School of Business Richfield
- Minnesota School of Business Rochester
- Minnesota School of Business Shakopee
- Minnesota School of Business Waite Park
- Minnesota State College Southeast Technical
- Minnesota State Community and Technical College
- Minnesota State University Moorhead
- Minnesota State University Mankato
- Minnesota West Community and Technical College
- National American University Bloomington
- National American University Brooklyn Center
- National American University Roseville
- Normandale Community College
- North Central University
- North Hennepin Community College
- Northland Community and Technical College
- Northwest Technical College
- Northwest Technical Institute
- Northwestern College
- Northwestern Health Sciences University
- Oak Hills Christian College
- Pine Technical College
- Rainy River Community College
- Ridgewater College
- Riverland Community College
- Rochester Community and Technical College
- Saint Cloud State University
- Saint John's University
- Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
- Saint Paul College A Community and Technical College
- South Central College
- Southwest Minnesota State University
- St. Catherine University
- St. Cloud Technical and Community College
- St. Olaf College
- The Art Institutes International Minnesota
- The College of Saint Scholastica
- University of Minnesota Crookston
- University of Minnesota Duluth
- University of Minnesota Morris
- University of Minnesota Rochester
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities
- University of Phoenix Minneapolis/St Paul Campus
- University of St Thomas
- Vermilion Community College
- White Earth Tribal and Community College
- Winona State University
It is critical to make certain the college sexual misconduct investigation at your Minnesota 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 Minnesota 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.