If you are a Utah college student facing Sexual Misconduct allegations, the first step is to find an attorney to help you understand your rights and the important details of new and existing regulations. Sexual misconduct charges can have serious consequences for your academic career and future professional opportunities. Even if you think it was all a misunderstanding, these charges may not be easily explained away. Schools often move quickly to address any sexual misconduct reporting or complaints, often at the expense of a fair process for the accused. The earlier you contact an experienced Utah College Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Advisor, the better. The initial investigative phase is critical and has a significant influence on your case. The findings will be used as the sole determination in cases without a hearing or handed over as influential evidence if your case is granted a hearing. The Lento Law Firm has come to the aid of countless respondents at colleges and universities across the country. The help of a skilled legal professional can exponentially increase your odds of a favorable outcome. Contact skilled Title IX advisor and attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.
New Title IX Rules Restore Rights To The Accused
The Federal Government's Department of Education (DOE) announced that the New Title IX regulations would rebalance the “scales of justice.” The rules reflect Secretary DeVos' commitment to ensuring that while every survivor's claim of sexual misconduct is taken seriously, every person accused knows that guilt is not predetermined. The White House promised that the New Title IX would address the “bureaucracy” of American colleges and universities that have “often stacked the deck against the accused.”
Due Process Returns to Title IX
The new Title IX rules (also known as the “Final Rule”) increases the possibility of the accused receiving a fair trial by upholding the cornerstone of the American justice system—the presumption of innocence. Under Barack Obama, the Department of Education struck a “preponderance of evidence” standard for establishing guilt and punishment — a far lower threshold than the ‘beyond a reasonable doubt” standard of the U.S. criminal justice system. Other significant changes which affect the process of adjudicating sexual misconduct issues include the following:
No Single Investigator
Betsey DeVos promised that the Final Rule would overhaul how colleges handle investigations of sexual assault and ending what she called Obama-era “kangaroo courts” on campus. In other words, under old Title IX regulations, college Sexual Misconduct disciplinary proceedings ignored recognized standards of law or justice. One major flaw the Final Rule remedies is that colleges can no longer use the “single investigator model,” which has one official tasked with investigating, adjudicating, and issuing disciplinary sanctions against respondents. Instead, each phase of the proceedings now has a separate decision-maker in charge, providing a fairer process and more checks-and-balances to prevent bias.
Required Hearings Allow Live Cross-Examination
Allowing cross-examination is a particularly controversial provision which some Title IX professionals and institutional leaders advised against. DeVos responded to criticism by making the cross-examination voluntary, but rendered inadmissible any statements made by witnesses who refuse to be cross-examined. Supporters of the Final Rule welcome the cross-examination option because you must test the credibility of all parties involved to conduct a fair hearing. It's imperative to get the help of an experienced legal professional to gather specific evidence and witnesses and handle cross-examinations at your student discipline hearing, to build the most vigorous defense and achieve the most favorable outcome.
Colleges Rule On Cases Excluded By Narrower Scope Of New Title IX
If you face college sexual misconduct allegations, the new Title IX rules offer you new protections, but unfortunately, also limit applicable cases to on-campus and school-controlled venues only. The scope of the Final Rule is also reduced by a narrower definition of sexual misconduct. Furthermore, even if the sexual misconduct fits the new definition, it will not warrant an investigation under the new Title IX if it doesn't impede the accuser's access to education. The Federal regulations explicitly state that sexual misconduct allegations against students or employees that do not fall under Title IX jurisdiction may be handled “in any manner the school chooses.” In fact, many colleges have stated their intentions to continue to pursue college sexual misconduct allegations with the same level of severity, despite the new Federal Regulations. You will need an attorney-adviser to protect your rights in university disciplinary proceedings. The Lento Law Firm has handled hundreds of cases under Title IX, which will extend to Code of Conduct cases now outside of the new Title IX's jurisdiction.
Colleges' Compliance With New Title IX Generates Dual Policies
The Title IX Final Rule, intended to rebalance the scales of justice for the accuser, induces many colleges to push back by strengthening and broadening the reach of their own policy. The new dual parallel policies for Sexual Misconduct attempt to incorporate the new federal regulations without appearing to abandon the school's commitment to protecting victims of sexual misconduct.
Let's Look At Utah's Universities
Universities that have been under the microscope for failing to implement Title IX have usually strengthened their Sexual Misconduct policies to preserve federal funding, regain student and faculty confidence, and repair their public reputation. The New Title IX Regulations required colleges to select one of two standards of evidence, the preponderance of the evidence standard or the clear and convincing evidence standard that has a higher burden of proof.In 2017, half of Utah’s ten largest colleges [were] under federal investigation for sexual misconduct allegations, including The University of Utah, Utah State University, Brigham Young University, Dixie State University, and Westminster College. All of these Utah universities held onto the existing preponderance of evidence standard, which is less favorable for the accused.
Experienced Utah College Sexual Misconduct Advisor
If you are facing allegations of sexual misconduct at your college or university, you can't rely on the new Title IX protections to help you, since colleges still have the latitude to determine policy that can stack the cards against you.
Finding the right attorney can make your defense successful. The Lento Law Firm has up-to-date knowledge of federal sexual misconduct regulations and Utah universities' code of conduct policies. For many years, attorney Joseph D. Lento has fought for students' rights while gaining a reputation as one of the country's preeminent experts in college sexual misconduct, Title IX, and student discipline defense.
Give the Lento Law Firm a call at (888) 535-3686 for a case consultation today. They will answer your questions and help you defend your rights.
Utah 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:
- AmeriTech College Draper
- Argosy University Salt Lake City
- Brigham Young University Provo
- Broadview Entertainment Arts University
- Broadview University Layton
- Broadview University Orem
- Broadview University West Jordan
- DeVry University Utah
- Dixie State College of Utah
- Eagle Gate College Layton
- Eagle Gate College Murray
- Eagle Gate College Salt Lake City
- Fortis College Salt Lake City
- Independence University
- ITT Technical Institute Murray
- Latter day Saints Business College
- Neumont University
- Provo College American Fork
- Provo College Provo
- Salt Lake Community College
- Snow College
- Southern Utah University
- Stevens Henager College of Business Provo
- Stevens Henager College Logan
- Stevens Henager College Murray
- Stevens Henager College Ogden
- The Art Institute of Salt Lake City
- University of Phoenix Utah Campus
- University of Utah
- Utah State University
- Utah State University College of Eastern Utah
- Utah Valley University
- Weber State University
- Westminster College
It is critical to make certain the college sexual misconduct investigation at your Utah 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 Utah 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.