Federal law Title IX and its applicability to sexual misconduct on college campuses have been a wildly controversial topic for years now. It seems that with every case that is catapulted into the public eye, there sprouts a fresh layer of interwoven legal, anatomical, and political issues, making the process more convoluted than it's ever been.
It comes as no surprise that the incertitude that surrounds Title IX policy will eventually have repercussions. With all the talk of inequitable resolution outcomes perpetuated by higher education institutions, the process itself, or a mixture of both (depends on who you ask), students are in survival mode.
Although its conception and implementation are well-intentioned, Title IX's potential as a weapon - whether it be used out of malice or self-defense - contains a power that is unrivaled. The current state of affairs begs the question by people on all sides of the political and social spectrum: Is Title IX too easy to abuse?
A recent lawsuit filed by a female student at the University of Cincinnati exemplifies what happens when biased and unfair case outcomes are normalized. Three university employees are currently being sued over an encounter that was only sexual for a few moments. What makes this case unusual is that it involves a male accuser (John Doe) and a female perpetrator (Jane Roe). Things get even more bizarre when reading the details of the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit (which is the accused Jane Roe's account of events), the encounter between Roe and Doe occurred on September 30, 2017. Both students attended a party together and went home when Doe shared that he may be a little too intoxicated. They went to his bedroom and Roe shortly fell asleep. She claims that Doe eventually crawled into bed with her and initiated sexual contact with her. After this went on for a little, Roe asked if Doe wanted to do anything more. He declined and they both went to sleep.
But Doe's account was strikingly different. On October 2nd, Doe reported to the school's Title IX office that Roe had engaged in sexual activity with him while he was too drunk to consent. After an investigation and a hearing, the university determined that he had been intoxicated during the encounter, and thus had no choice but to suspend Roe. She tried to file an appeal but it was denied.
Roe's lawsuit, however, alleges a surprising plot twist. Apparently, Roe had reported one of Doe's friends for sexual misconduct at an earlier time, and he was found responsible and sanctioned. She claims that the complaint was a form of revenge in her lawsuit. Spectators have shared their take on this event, either affirming her suspicions in the lawsuit or claiming that he may have filed a complaint out of self-defense. Others don't rule out the fact that he really believed that he was assaulted.
Regardless of the various interpretations of what occurred, the twists and turns of this case are telling. They reveal that the winner is, in most cases, the one who races to the Title IX office the fastest. Unfortunately, the reality remains that administrators still appear biased in favor of the initial complainant and immediately assign guilt to the respondent.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.