Defense for Students Accused of Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Violations at California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico (Chico State) is committed to providing an educational environment that is free from sexual assault for students, faculty, and staff. The university views acts identified as sexual assault as serious matters. It strictly prohibits and will vigorously discipline persons identified as responsible for sexual misconduct.

The repercussions for students accused of sexual harassment at Chico State are severe, including probation, suspension, or even expulsion. If you're facing an allegation of sexual misconduct, you need an experienced attorney-advisor who will look out for your interests.

College Sexual Misconduct and Title IX at Chico State

Chico State complies with the California State University systemwide policy on sexual misconduct and Title IX: Interim CSU Policy Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct, Sexual Exploitation, Dating Violence, Domestic Violence, Stalking, and Retaliation.

This policy lists prohibited conduct for all members of the California State University community, as well as the process for adjudicating complaints of sexual misconduct. Chico State does not have a separate policy for Title IX and university-specific sexual misconduct definitions, as many schools do. The Interim CSU Policy mentioned above integrates both university and Title IX definitions of sexual harassment and misconduct.

What Counts at Sexual Misconduct at Chico State?

The California State University systemwide sexual misconduct policy lists and defines prohibited behavior:

  • Harassment based on any protected status: unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct engaged in because of an individual's protected status
  • Sexual harassment including hostile environment and quid pro quo: “Unwelcome verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature that includes but is not limited to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors,” offering employment benefits or giving preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors, or indecent exposure
  • Dating violence: Physical violence or threat of physical violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the complainant
  • Domestic violence: Physical violence or threat of physical violence committed by a current or former spouse or intimate partner, “by a person with whom the complainant shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the complainant as a spouse or intimate partner, or a person similarly situated to a spouse of the complainant”
  • Sexual exploitation: One person taking sexual advantage of another for the benefit of anyone other than that person without that person's consent
  • Stalking: Engaging in a “course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the safety of self or others' safety” to suffer substantial emotional distress
  • Sexual misconduct: Engaging in any sexual activity without first obtaining affirmative consent
  • Prohibited consensual relationships: Consensual or romantic relationship between an employee and any “student or employee over whom they exercise direct or otherwise significant academic, administrative, supervisory, evaluative, counseling, or extracurricular authority”
  • Retaliation: Taking adverse action against a person who has exercised their rights under the California State University sexual misconduct policy

The Sexual Misconduct Complaint Process at Chico State

The California State University systemwide sexual misconduct policy has three tracks for handling complaints of policy violations. Both the Title IX Coordinator and the Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Administrator (DHR Administrator) oversee the implementation of the track system.

Track 1: Federal Mandated Hearing Process

Complaints go through the Track 1 process when the alleged conduct:

  • Meets the Title IX definition of sexual harassment
  • Occurred in the US
  • Occurred in the education program or activity in the university

Track 2: State Mandated Hearing Process

For Track 2 procedures to apply, the alleged misconduct must meet these conditions:

  • The complaint is against a student
  • The complaint is of sexual misconduct, dating violence, or domestic violence
  • The credibility of the complainant or respondent or any witness is central to the determination of responsibility
  • The student is facing suspension or expulsion as a disciplinary sanction

Track 3: Non-Hearing Process

Track 3 applies to all other complaints that don't fall under Track 1 or Track 2 procedures.

All three Tracks involve a formal complaint and investigation process. However, only Track 1 and Track 2 proceed to a hearing. In Track 3, a single investigator interviews the complainant, respondent, and witnesses, then gathers and analyzes evidence, then makes the decision regarding a policy violation by the respondent. For all Tracks, students can appeal a hearing decision by submitting a written appeal to the Chancellor's Office within ten working days of the outcome decision.

Potential Sanctions for Students Found Responsible for Sexual Misconduct

Recommended sanctions for students found responsible for sexual misconduct, discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, or related offense include:

  • Restitution
  • Loss of financial aid
  • Educational and remedial sanctions
  • Denial of access to campus or persons
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

How a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Help

The policies governing sexual harassment for Chico State and the California State University system are extensive. If you have trouble fully understanding them, we wouldn't be surprised. It can seem overwhelming if you've never dealt with a disciplinary matter before.

When you are accused of sexual misconduct by another member of the Chico State community, you are guaranteed certain rights, such as the right to be informed of evidence in your case and respond to that evidence. An attorney-advisor who is accustomed to dealing with university administrators in sexual misconduct and Title IX cases can help you know what your rights are and stand up for them with your university. They can also help you prepare for the hearing, gather evidence, and prepare witnesses.

Joseph D. Lento has helped students nationwide with sexual misconduct and Title IX accusations. If the future of your education is at risk, contact Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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