If a college in Alaska receives federal funding, then Title IX requires the school to vigorously investigate allegations of sexual misconduct on campus or risk losing the money. Unfortunately, this means that anyone accused of sexual harassment or assault will have the cards stacked against them as their school tries to keep that source of funding.
If you were the one accused of violating Title IX, you need a lawyer to act as your advisor.
Why You Should Appoint a Lawyer as Your Title IX Advisor
People who have been accused of violating Title IX in Alaska have a right to an advisor. Because of how serious it is to be accused of a sexual misconduct violation, it is a mistake to appoint a family or faculty member to serve as your advisor. Someone who wants to maximize their chances of success in a Title IX case will appoint a Title IX-defense lawyer to make certain their interests are protected.. Doing so has several huge benefits:
- You can rely on the lawyer's familiarity with adversarial proceedings like investigations and hearings
- The attorney can build your best case and help present it at the hearing
- A Title IX lawyer understands which parts of the investigation carry great weight to your future
- It tells your university that you are serious about defending against the charges and that they cannot trample your rights
How Alaska Schools Investigate Title IX Claims
Every school in Alaska has its own way of investigating and hearing Title IX claims. However, they all use the following basic framework:
- Title IX cases start with a complaint. The Title IX process can only begin when someone files an official complaint with the school, alleging that you committed an act of sexual misconduct that violates Title IX.
- No-contact orders filed against you. The school typically responds by initiating a no-contact order, which prohibits you from having any kind of contact with the person making the complaint. This is considered an "interim" measure generally pending the outcome of the investigation. Other "interim" measures can include a ban from living on campus and/or a ban from participation on sports teams or in extracurricular activities. In some instances, a respondent can be placed on an "interim" suspension which can last until the resolution of the case.
- Investigators get involved. The school then hires an independent investigator or assigns its Title IX officer to look into the details alleged in the complaint. This often ends with an interview with you. If the interview uncovers wrongdoing at schools which resolve Title IX cases through an "investigative" process, a respondent will be deemed responsible for alleged violations. Some schools use a "hearing" model, however, and will forward the results of the investigation to a hearing panel who will make a determination regarding the case.
- A hearing may determine Title IX allegations. At schools that use the "hearing" model, the evidence both for and against you is presented to a panel of judges at the Title IX hearing. The rules for this hearing depend on the school, as does the makeup of the panel.
- Sanctions for a violation. If the hearing ends with a determination that there was a Title IX violation, the panel will issue a sanction against you. This sanction can be as light as a warning, or as heavy as being expelled from school.
- Your right to appeal. You can appeal the severity of the penalty, or can challenge the outcome of the hearing if the rules were not followed closely enough and it impacted your rights.
Joseph D. Lento: Alaska's Title IX Advisor
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense lawyer who can act as your advisor throughout the Title IX investigation and hearing process in Alaska. If you want to protect your rights and finish college on the right note, you need his help to beat these allegations. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686.
Alaska colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations (in addition to hearings and appeals) include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Alaska Bible College
- Alaska Pacific University
- Charter College Anchorage
- Ilisagvik College
- Prince William Sound Community College
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Alaska Southeast
- Wayland Baptist University
It is critical to make certain the Title IX investigation at your college or university is handled properly and that the accused student's or employee's interests are protected from as early as possible during the sexual misconduct investigative process. One major reason is because even at schools 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 Title IX 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. Some people will mistakenly believe that if they "just explain what happened," their school 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 and Title IX charges would not exist.
Fighting passionately for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation for a decade, 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 and New Jersey, is admitted as an attorney pro hac vice in state and federal court if needed when representing clients nationwide, and serves as a Title IX advisor and educational consultant to students facing sexual misconduct investigations and disciplinary cases in Alaska and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.