Title IX is a federal law that prohibits acts of sexual discrimination in higher education, including sexual harassment or assault. A practical effect of Title IX, though, is that it requires colleges and universities in Colorado to vigorously prosecute allegations of Title IX violations, or risk their federal funding.
If you have been accused of a Title IX violation, then, you can expect your school to do all they can to protect its funding at your expense. Appointing a lawyer as your Title IX advisor can be your best move to protect your rights.
Why Choose a Lawyer as Your Title IX Advisor
People who have been accused of violating Title IX in Colorado have a right to an advisor to guide them through the investigation and hearing process. While some choose a trusted faculty member to advise them, everything is at stake and not taking the necessary steps is a major mistake; appointing a lawyer instead can have significant benefits:
- Lawyers are familiar with the confrontational style of hearings and investigations
- Attorneys have experience building and presenting a case for clients
- Title IX lawyers have an intimate knowledge of the process and the potential pitfalls for your interests
The Title IX Investigation Process in Colorado
While each college in Colorado has its own unique elements to the Title IX process, the general themes are still the same:
- The complaint initiates the process. The Title IX process begins when someone files a complaint with the school, alleging that you violated Title IX's prohibitions against sexual misconduct.
- No-contact orders filed. A typical response that the school makes to the complaint is to file a no-contact order against you, the accused. This prohibits you from making any contact at all with the person who filed the complaint and can lead to housing or class reassignments. Other "interim" measures can include an "interim suspension" from classes, a removal from living in a residence hall, a ban from participation on a sports team, and similar actions taken by the school against the respondent.
- Investigation of the complaint. The school's Title IX officer or an independent investigator looks into the validity of the allegations made in the complaint. This often culminates in an interview with the accused.
- The hearing. Although most schools use an "investigative" model to determine responsibility, some schools use a "hearing" model to decide whether or not a respondent has violated Title IX. At such colleges and universities, the climax of the Title IX case is when the evidence for and against the complaint is presented to a panel in a hearing.
- Sanctions issued. If the panel finds that you violated Title IX, it will issue sanctions against you. These can range from a warning all the way to expulsion from college.
- The possibility of an appeal. If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of an investigation and/or hearing (depending on the college or university involved) and want to challenge it, you can appeal it by pointing to a defect in the process. If you only want to challenge the sanction, you often have a right to appeal it, as well.
Colorado Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense attorney who advises people who have been accused of sexual misconduct under Title IX. If you have been accused of sexual harassment or assault in Colorado, having him in your corner as your Title IX advisor can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Contact him online or by phone at 888-535-3686 for the legal help you need at this trying time.
Colorado 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:
- Adams State College
- Aims Community College
- American Sentinel University
- Arapahoe Community College
- Argosy University Denver
- Bel Rea Institute of Animal Technology
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy
- College America Colorado Springs
- College America Denver
- College America Fort Collins
- Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
- Colorado Christian University
- Colorado College
- Colorado Heights University
- Colorado Mesa University
- Colorado Mountain College
- Colorado Northwestern Community College
- Colorado School of Healing Arts
- Colorado School of Mines
- Colorado State University Fort Collins
- Colorado State University Pueblo
- Colorado Technical University Colorado Springs
- Colorado Technical University Greenwood Village
- Colorado Technical University Online
- Community College of Aurora
- Community College of Denver
- Denver School of Nursing
- DeVry University Colorado
- Ecotech Institute
- Everest College Aurora
- Everest College Colorado Springs
- Everest College Thornton
- Fort Lewis College
- Front Range Community College
- Institute of Business and Medical Careers
- ITT Technical Institute Aurora
- ITT Technical Institute Westminster
- Johnson & Wales University Denver
- Jones International University
- Lamar Community College
- Metropolitan State College of Denver
- Morgan Community College
- Naropa University
- National American University Centennial
- National American University Colorado Springs
- National American University Colorado Springs South
- National American University Denver
- Nazarene Bible College
- Northeastern Junior College
- Otero Junior College
- Pikes Peak Community College
- Platt College Aurora
- Prince Institute Rocky Mountains
- Pueblo Community College
- Red Rocks Community College
- Redstone College
- Regis University
- Remington College Colorado Springs Campus
- Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
- The Art Institute of Colorado
- Trinidad State Junior College
- United States Air Force Academy (exempt from Title IX and the Clery Act)
- University of Colorado Boulder
- University of Colorado Denver
- University of Colorado Colorado Springs
- University of Denver
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Phoenix Colorado Campus
- University of Phoenix Southern Colorado Campus
- Western State Colorado University
- Westwood College Denver North
- Westwood College Denver South
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 Colorado and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.