Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sexual discrimination in the field of higher education, covering everything from sexual harassment to assault to rape. Importantly, because a school's federal funding is tied to its enforcement of Title IX's requirements, students who have been accused of sexual misconduct at a college or university in South Dakota can be prosecuted aggressively by their institution.
Having an attorney to guide you through the Title IX investigation can be the best way to make sure your rights and interests are being protected.
Why You Should Choose an Attorney to Be Your Title IX Advisor
If you are being accused of sexual misconduct on a South Dakotan campus, you have the right to an advisor throughout the process. While you can choose anyone you want to be your advisor – from a parent to a trusted faculty member – choosing an attorney has numerous benefits. Not only do lawyers understand the intricate mechanics of a Title IX claim, but they have honed their skills of argumentation that can be put to your benefit during the Title IX process.
The Title IX Process in South Dakota
The Title IX process covers the timeline of what happens between an accusation of sexual misconduct on campus and the final decision:
- The complaint: The process begins with the complaint. Colleges in South Dakota encourage anyone who knows of an instance of sexual misconduct – all the way from rape to harassment – to report it to the school.
- Interim measures: After receiving a complaint, many schools issue a no-contact order, which acts like a temporary restraining order: minimizing the chances of the person who filed a complaint from coming into contact with the person they are accusing of misconduct. This often involves housing reassignments or class schedule changes.
- Investigation: Next, a school's Title IX officer or an independent investigator will look for evidence related to the accusation.
- The hearing: Once evidence has been amassed, schools that use the hearing process to determine Title IX violations will hold their hearing. This hearing follows rules and regulations specific to the school. Other schools determine Title IX violations using a more insulated process.
- Sanctions: If the hearing leads to a finding that the accused was responsible for violating Title IX, a wide range of sanctions can be imposed, from attendance at intervention classes to outright expulsion from college.
- The appeals process: Students who have been found in violation of Title IX can appeal the decision by pointing to an error that was made at some point during the earlier steps of the process.
South Dakota Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento
Joseph D. Lento is a student discipline defense and Title IX defense attorney that helps clients fight sexual misconduct cases. By representing the accused throughout the Title IX process, Joseph Lento can prevent a costly finding of responsibility that can haunt a student for the rest of his or her life.
If facing a sexual misconduct investigation or charges in South Dakota, contact Joseph Lento online or by phone at 888-535-3686 for the legal help and advice you need at this incredibly difficult time in your life.
South Dakota 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:
- Augustana College
- Black Hills State University
- Colorado Technical University Sioux Falls
- Dakota State University
- Dakota Wesleyan University
- Globe University Sioux Falls
- Kilian Community College
- Lake Area Technical Institute
- Mitchell Technical Institute
- Mount Marty College
- National American University Ellsworth AFB Extension
- National American University Rapid City
- National American University Sioux Falls
- Northern State University
- Oglala Lakota College
- Presentation College
- Sinte Gleska University
- Sisseton Wahpeton College
- South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
- South Dakota State University
- Southeast Technical Institute
- University of Sioux Falls
- University of South Dakota
- Western Dakota Technical Institute
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 Dakota and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.