Federal law Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender within federally funded higher education institutions. Sexual misconduct is technically regarded as gender discrimination. Therefore, any actions committed that constitute sexual misconduct is legally considered a violation of Title IX. In compliance with federal guidelines, colleges and universities must internally adjudicate all complaints of sexual misconduct committed by and/or against college students.
The Title IX process is used by institutions to determine potential violations. During the process, students will need the assistance of an outside party, known as an advisor, to help them navigate.
The Role of an Advisor
People who bring allegations (complainants) and those who respond to said allegations (respondents) have the right to choose anyone they would like to occupy the role of an advisor. This right is extended because both complainants and respondents will need all the help they can get in the intricate Title IX process. Choosing the right attorney will make all the difference in the outcome of a respondent's case.
The Benefits of Choosing an Attorney as Your Advisor
An attorney's assistance is invaluable in this process. They've likely been through the Title IX process many times, and understand what respondents must do to adequately prepare to defend themselves in an investigation or hearing. An attorney can also ensure that a respondent's rights are protected and properly exercised.
The Title IX Process
- A complaint is filed: Colleges and universities encourage every member of the community to report alleged instances of sexual misconduct.
- Interim measures: A college may deem is appropriate to impose interim measures upon respondents. These measures could include a no-contact order, restricted access to parts of campus, housing reassignments, class schedule changes and more.
- The investigation: A formal investigation will be conducted by the school. Respondents, complainants, witnesses, and other relevant parties will be interviewed for purposes of collecting information. At some schools, the process ends here.
- The hearing: In other schools, the Title IX process ends after a hearing. A hearing is the final opportunity for all parties to share their account of the alleged incident. Based on these statements, testimonies, and evidence, a hearing panel will make a determination.
- Sanctions: If an investigator or hearing panel determines that a respondent is “responsible” for violating Title IX and committing sexual misconduct, a range of sanctions may be imposed in response. Respondents have been subject to scholarship removal, suspension, treatment orders, and expulsion.
- Appeals: An appeal is a request for a school to reconsider its decision based on an error made at some point during the process. Any party that is dissatisfied with a final decision has the right to appeal.
South Carolina Title IX Advisor
If you attend a South Carolina college or university and are facing sexual misconduct allegations, it is crucial you contact an attorney. For students who haven't been through this process before, it can be confusing and scary. Preparation is the key to favorable results. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience preparing respondents for an investigation and the entire Title IX process. Contact him today for help.
South Carolina 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:
- Aiken Technical College
- Allen University
- Anderson University
- Benedict College
- Bob Jones University
- Brown Mackie College Greenville
- Central Carolina Technical College
- Charleston Southern University
- Citadel Military College of South Carolina
- Claflin University
- Clemson University
- Clinton Junior College
- Coastal Carolina University
- Coker College
- College of Charleston
- Columbia College
- Columbia International University
- Converse College
- Denmark Technical College
- Erskine College and Seminary
- Florence Darlington Technical College
- Forrest College
- Francis Marion University
- Furman University
- Golf Academy of America Myrtle Beach
- Greenville Technical College
- Horry Georgetown Technical College
- ITT Technical Institute Columbia
- ITT Technical Institute Greenville
- ITT Technical Institute Myrtle Beach
- ITT Technical Institute North Charleston
- Lander University
- Limestone College
- Medix School Fortis College
- Midlands Technical College
- Miller Motte Technical College
- Miller Motte Technical College North Charleston
- Morris College
- Newberry College
- North Greenville University
- Northeastern Technical College
- Orangeburg Calhoun Technical College
- Piedmont Technical College
- Presbyterian College
- South Carolina State University
- South University Columbia
- Southern Wesleyan University
- Spartanburg Community College
- Spartanburg Methodist College
- Technical College of the Lowcountry
- The Art Institute of Charleston
- Tri County Technical College
- Trident Technical College
- University of Phoenix Columbia Campus
- University of South Carolina Aiken
- University of South Carolina Beaufort
- University of South Carolina Columbia
- University of South Carolina Lancaster
- University of South Carolina Salkehatchie
- University of South Carolina Sumter
- University of South Carolina Union
- University of South Carolina Upstate
- Virginia College
- Virginia College in Charleston
- Virginia College Columbia
- Virginia College Greenville
- Voorhees College
- W L Bonner College
- Williamsburg Technical College
- Winthrop University
- Wofford College
- York Technical 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 South Carolina and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.