Sexual assault traumatizes, triggers, and permanently affects the lives of all involved. When students plan their college experience, they don't expect these kinds of unfortunate events to happen. However, they do. While no one wants to be involved in a sexual assault case, Nevada college students should know what to do if they face accusations of sexual assault.
Unfortunately, colleges have an incentive to resolve sexual misconduct cases very quickly. This can mean that they don't give accused students a fair chance to defend themselves. Since an accusation of sexual misconduct, even an unwarranted one, can have far-reaching consequences, students need to know how to protect their rights.
Working with an experienced Title IX and sexual misconduct advisor can be a student's best chance of a fair outcome. The sexual misconduct case resolution process can be tricky and confusing - especially due to recent updates to the investigation procedures.
U.S. Department of Education's Recent Changes: How Do They Affect Nevada Schools?
In May of 2020, the U.S. Government changed previously long-standing Title IX regulations. Title IX is the civil rights law that governed the large majority of sexual misconduct cases in federally-funded schools. The updated policies have narrowed the definition of cases that fall under Title IX specifically. Many Nevada schools may now litigate under a dual Title IX and sexual misconduct process.
Students looking for a legal advisor to assist with a Nevada college sexual misconduct case should search for an advisor with significant Title IX and sexual misconduct experience, as the processes may be similar.
Other updates that the Department of Education made to Title IX and sexual misconduct rules include:
- Schools must now hold a single hearing process in response to sexual misconduct allegations.
- All witnesses and complainants must participate in live hearings and cross-examinations.
- Nevada universities may be responsible for some actions that occur off-campus. This includes fraternity and sorority houses.
As Nevada schools update their regulations in response to the national updates, students may expect slight changes in the investigative process. However, a seasoned Title IX and sexual misconduct advisor will be able to help walk students through these nuances while protecting their rights.
Consequences of College Sexual Misconduct Charges in Nevada
If a student stands accused of sexual misconduct charges at a Nevada college, they should know precisely what consequences they may face. Sexual misconduct allegations are serious, and many colleges have punitive measures that treat them as such.
Each Nevada school will have a specific list of consequences associated with sexual misconduct, as well as contact information for further questions. For example, the University of Nevada, Reno has a designated page with quick facts about Title IX and sexual misconduct. The Nevada System of Higher Education website has corralled information from many Nevada colleges into one easy-to-reference list. If students wish to know more about the procedures they face, they can find lots in their school's posted code of conduct or website. According to Nevada State College, consequences that students may face include:
- A no-contact order between students or staff
- Removal from any extracurricular organizations connected to the school
- Suspension or expulsion from the school
- Criminal charges and even jail time
- Financial compensation owed to the victim
- Information about the allegation on the student's permanent record
- A sex offender label
- Damage to reputation, and less likelihood of finding further academic or professional opportunities
It's important to note that even though all federally-funded schools must investigate allegations of sexual misconduct quickly, Nevada schools might not have the resources to do so. Very quickly, students might find that their schools are steamrolling over their rights for expediency's sake.
If so, students must find legal advisors to help guide them through their school's procedures.
Nevada Students: What to Do if You Face Sexual Misconduct Charges
When you're standing accused of sexual misconduct, it can be easy to panic. You're in a tough situation, and it may seem like there's nothing you can do.
Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to work towards a favorable outcome.
- Reach out to a college sexual misconduct and Title IX advisor. Ideally, you'll do this as early on in your case as is possible. These types of procedures can get complicated. Working with an attorney-advisor will help you craft a strong defense.
- Examine your Nevada school's code of conduct. As a student, you have access to an official code of conduct or a student handbook for your school. Read it thoroughly. This document should contain the procedures you will face as well as consequences, appeal processes, definitions of sexual misconduct, and more.
- Keep communications about your charges to a minimum. Don't contact your accuser, if at all possible; don't tell your friends about what happened or reach out to seemingly-sympathetic teachers or school staff. All communication could constitute evidence. If you have questions about your case or would like to discuss it with someone other than your advisor, run it by your advisor first.
- Keep track of all documents, even if they don't seem very relevant. When you first contact an attorney-advisor to assist with your case, they will spend time combing through all communications, social media, and other documented information and events to see if they can find anything that could help you. Don't delete or get rid of anything unless your advisor says it's okay.
When you're facing sexual misconduct charges, it can be jarring to see just how quickly your school might turn against you. In these cases, it's vital to ensure that you have someone experienced working on your side.
Joseph D. Lento is Ready to Help Nevada College Students Today
If you stand accused of sexual misconduct charges, you need to work with an experienced Title IX and sexual misconduct advisor. For many years, Joseph D. Lento has fundamentally handled hundreds of these types of cases in states all across the nation. Whether you need assistance preparing for a hearing or managing the investigative process, Joseph. D. Lento will be there to help.
For more information about protecting your rights, call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.
Nevada 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:
- College of Southern Nevada
- DeVry University Nevada
- Everest College Henderson
- Great Basin College
- International Academy of Design and Technology Henderson
- ITT Technical Institute Henderson
- ITT Technical Institute Las Vegas
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas
- Morrison University
- Nevada State College
- Sierra Nevada College
- The Art Institute of Las Vegas
- Truckee Meadows Community College
- University of Nevada Las Vegas
- University of Nevada Reno
- University of Phoenix Las Vegas Campus
- University of Phoenix Northern Nevada Campus
- Western Nevada College
It is critical to make certain the college sexual misconduct investigation at your Nevada 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 Nevada 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.