Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, or as it is more commonly known, LECOM, makes extra effort to ensure that cases of sexual misconduct within its student body are resolved promptly. The College resolves all alleged acts of sexual misconduct using the process outlined within the pages of its Student Handbook. Although there are several different academic paths classified as "schools" at LECOM, they all operate under a unified policy for sexual misconduct, and all violations within the student body will be treated similarly.
Sexual Misconduct Process At LECOM
When a report is filed with a College official for sexual misconduct, an investigation will be launched into the matter. For all cases of sexual misconduct, the student bringing the complaint forward is known as the "complainant," while the student who is the subject of the allegations is known as the respondent. If the College believes that there is a present and clear threat to the investigation or to the complainant, certain measures may be imposed on the respondent. This can include a rescheduling of classes, changes to residence areas, or possible suspension from campus. The College will conduct an initial assessment to determine if sexual misconduct charges are appropriate. If the Title IX office deems it necessary to launch a formal investigation, a team will be assembled to handle the matter. Formal investigations will typically consist of a series of several meetings with the complainant, respondent, and any named witnesses.
At times, the process may be resolved without invoking a formal investigation and resolution. The complainant must agree to this process. This is a more mediation-based process, and may not result in as harsh sanctions. Informal resolutions may not be used for instances and claims of sexual assault.
Formal resolutions will consist of the formal investigation process, and a brief hearing to resolve the charges. Hearings will be held and decided upon by a Hearing Officer dedicated to handling cases involving sexual misconduct allegations. The hearing officer will review the investigative report, and may meet with the respondent. The respondent may defend their claims and version of events. Decisions are made using the standard of "a preponderance of the evidence."
At hearings and during the investigative phase, students are entitled to the presence an advisor. Due to the very serious nature of sexual misconduct allegations, students may be facing long-term negative consequences to their academic and professional careers. For this reason, students should select an attorney to serve as their advisor. An attorney can not only protect a student's interests throughout the Title IX investigation and disciplinary proceedings, but can also offer specialized courtroom knowledge that can sway the outcome of a hearing when applied properly. In addition, if students face any additional adverse consequences from the initial reporting of the incident at Lake Erie College of Medicine, an attorney can serve as a guide for the student though these circumstances.
Appeals At LECOM
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students are entitled to make an appeal. Appeals must be submitted within seven (7) business days of the outcome. The grounds for appeal are new information, procedural error, or disproportionate sanctions.