The federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation in the context of higher education is Title IX. Unfortunately, Title IX ties how a school investigates these kinds of allegations to the school's federal funding.
If you have been accused of sexual harassment or assault in violation of Title IX, then, you can expect your college to look for a way to satisfy your accuser. Having a lawyer advise you through the investigation process can protect your rights in Arizona.
Your Right to a Title IX Investigation Advisor in Arizona
If you have been accused of violating Title IX by, for example, committing an act of sexual misconduct like harassment or assault, you have a right to an advisor. Some people choose trusted family or faculty members, but this is a misguided approach, and having a lawyer in the role has huge benefits:
- It shows you intend to vigorously defend against the allegation
- Lawyers build and present cases for a living, and so are at home in the adversarial nature of the Title IX investigation and hearing process
- Title IX defense attorneys know how details in the investigation process can hurt your rights
The Title IX Investigation Process in Arizona
While every college and university in Arizona uses its own rules and regulations for the investigation of a Title IX claim, nearly all of them following the same basic process:
- The complaint. Title IX cases begin when someone files a complaint with the school, claiming that you violated the statute through an act of sexual misconduct.
- No-contact orders issued. Colleges in Arizona frequently respond to a complaint by filing no-contact orders against the person being accused in the complaint. This prohibits you from having any contact whatsoever with the person who is accusing you, even if that means reassigning housing or classes. Other interim measures can include a ban from living on campus, a ban from participating on sports teams, and even an "interim" suspension pending the resolution of the case.
- The investigation. The school will then assign an independent investigator or its Title IX officer to investigate the nature of the complaint and try to verify the details in it. This will lead to an interview with you, the accused. Many schools determine responsibility at the conclusion of the investigation, although some schools will then proceed to a hearing on the matter, using the results of the investigation in large part at the hearing itself.
- The hearing. At colleges and universities that use a "hearing" model, as the name implies, the evidence-gathering leads to a hearing in front of a panel of judges. The rules of this hearing and the people who sit on this panel are different for every school in Arizona, though, so having a lawyer who understands how this can work in your favor is crucial.
- Sanctions if a violation is found. If the panel determines that you violated Title IX, it will sanction you. These penalties can expel you from school, or merely warn you from similar conduct in the future.
- Appeals. You can appeal the outcome of the case if you can point to a particular part of the process that was handled incorrectly, or by claiming the penalty does not fit the violation.
Arizona's Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense lawyer who advises students accused of Title IX violations. With his help and advice, you can beat these groundless and dangerous accusations. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 if facing a Title IX investigation in Arizona.
Arizona 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:
- American Indian College of the Assemblies of God, Inc.
- Argosy University Phoenix
- Argosy University Phoenix Online Division
- Arizona Christian University
- Arizona College of Allied Health
- Arizona State University
- Arizona Western College
- Brown Mackie College Phoenix
- Brown Mackie College Tucson
- Central Arizona College
- Chamberlain College of Nursing Arizona
- Chandler/Gilbert Community College
- Cochise College
- Coconino Community College
- College America Flagstaff
- CollegeAmerica Phoenix
- Collins College
- DeVry University Arizona
- Dine College
- Eastern Arizona College
- Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott
- Estrella Mountain Community College
- Everest College Phoenix
- Everest College Phoenix
- Fortis College Phoenix
- GateWay Community College
- Glendale Community College
- Golf Academy of America Chandler
- Grand Canyon University
- International Baptist College
- ITT Technical Institute Phoenix
- ITT Technical Institute Phoenix West
- ITT Technical Institute Tempe
- ITT Technical Institute Tucson
- Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Scottsdale
- Mesa Community College
- Mohave Community College
- National Paralegal College
- Northcentral University Prescott
- Northern Arizona University
- Northland Pioneer College
- Paradise Valley Community College
- Phoenix College
- Pima Community College
- Prescott College
- Rio Salado College
- Sanford Brown College Phoenix
- Scottsdale Community College
- South Mountain Community College
- Southwest University of Visual Arts Tucson
- The Art Institute of Phoenix
- The Art Institute of Tucson
- Tohono O'Odham Community College
- University of Advancing Technology
- University of Arizona
- University of Phoenix Online Campus
- University of Phoenix Phoenix Hohokam Campus
- University of Phoenix Southern Arizona Campus
- Western International University
- Yavapai College
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 Arizona and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.