Dealing with a sexual misconduct allegation is nothing to mess around with. This type of allegation can alter the trajectory of a student‘s life. When schools are faced with sexual misconduct allegations, they act immediately. Their entire goal is to make sure that students remain safe, and if it's perceived that they've delayed acting on the allegations in any way, their inactivity could be construed as indifference, opening them up to lawsuits. Because of this, schools are extremely aggressive when it comes to dealing with this issue.
If you're facing sexual misconduct allegations at your Louisiana school, you need to get an advisor ASAP, and this is not just about getting any advisor. You need a legal professional who has years of experience working with this type of issue. You need someone who is aggressive and knowledgeable because sexual misconduct in an educational setting in the United States is a Title IX offense. In order for someone to mount a successful defense, they're going to have to have someone on their side who understands exactly what Title IX is.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX is a federal law that was launched in 1972 to combat sexual discrimination in educational settings across the United States. “Educational settings” means colleges, universities, K-12 schools, and any other type of educational setting.
The unique thing about Title IX law is that it's constantly changing. The parameters and guidelines change from one presidential administration to the next. This means that you're going to need a legal advisor on your side who is up to date with the latest changes to the law. They will understand the nuances of the law, and they will know how to structure your case. Going it alone could be one of the worst decisions you ever make.
How Does the Title IX Process Work?
Every Title IX complaint originates with the Title IX Coordinator at your school. The complainant will file a report, and the Title IX Coordinator will record it. Only the complainant or the Title IX Coordinator can sign the complaint.
Once the complaint has been recorded with the Title IX Coordinator, the Coordinator will reach out to the respondent. In their message to the respondent, they will give them the details of the allegation, the name of the complainant, and any other key information relating to the allegation. They will also apprise the respondent of their rights, including the fact that they will be presumed “not responsible” until a verdict has been rendered.
This is the point where the respondent needs to choose an advisor, a right they have under Title IX law. It's extremely important that they choose a legal advisor. The advisor will be able to go over the statement registered with the Title IX Coordinator, and they'll be able to start building a case.
Next, the Title IX Coordinator will assign an investigator to the case. That investigator will meet with both parties. During this part of the investigation, the investigator will also interview any witnesses, collect evidence, examine the evidence, and do anything else that can help them gather what they need for the case.
Once the investigation is over, the investigator will write up a report. It's at this point that the complainant and the respondent will have an opportunity to look over the report and request any changes to that report. If you're going through this, having a legal advisor on your side will help ensure that the document being submitted fully encapsulates everything you're trying to say.
Next comes the hearing. At colleges and universities, the respondent is allowed to have a live hearing. Students attending K-12 schools may have a hearing if they prefer, but it's not necessary. In those cases, the Title IX Coordinator will most likely sign a decision-maker who will render a decision in the case.
During the Title IX hearing, both the respondent and the complainant are represented by their advisors. Like a trial that takes place in a court of law, this is the phase where evidence can be introduced, both sides can be cross-examined, and witnesses can be called. You don't want to walk into this part of the case without legal protection. You need to have all of your information substantiated, recorded, and delivered in a way that best serves your side of the story. A failure to do so could have terrible consequences.
Once both sides have been heard, a decision will be made. The decision could be made by one person, or the decision could be made by a panel of people. That usually depends on the school.
Once a verdict has been rendered, both sides have the opportunity to file an appeal within ten days of the decision. In most cases, appeals can only be filed if new evidence has been discovered, one or more people on the panel of decision-makers turn out to be biased towards or against the respondent or the complainant, or there was a mistake made in the Title IX procedures.
Why Does It Even Matter?
You may be wondering to yourself if it even matters. In your case, you may be thinking that it was all just a simple misunderstanding, and at worst, you'll get suspended.
Wrong. If you think the allegation against you is no big deal and that, at worst, you'll probably get suspended, be aware that that's usually not the case. Students who have been convicted of sexual misconduct are usually expelled. Don't take even the slightest hint of a misconduct allegation lightly. You should very seriously and thoroughly try to clear your name.
Don't make the mistake of underestimating how serious the consequences can be if you don't put your full weight behind defending yourself. You could be expelled from school, you could be prevented from going to any other school, and your future prospects will be destroyed because these types of allegations remain on your permanent record.
Reach Out for Legal Help Immediately
A sexual misconduct allegation against you isn't something to be taken lightly. You need a legal team behind you that understands the implications of Title IX law and knows how to prepare you with the best defense possible. Joseph Lento and his team have been helping defend clients against Title IX allegations for years and know what it takes to mount a strong defense.
Reach out for help at 888-535-3686 today to schedule an evaluation of your case. Your future may depend on it.
Louisiana colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
- Acadiana Technical College Lafayette Campus
- Baton Rouge College
- Baton Rouge Community College
- Blue Cliff College Alexandria
- Blue Cliff College Houma
- Blue Cliff College Metairie
- Blue Cliff College Shreveport
- Bossier Parish Community College
- Capital Area Technical College Baton Rouge Campus
- Career Technical College Shreveport
- Centenary College of Louisiana
- Central Louisiana Technical College Alexandria Campus
- Court Reporting Institute of Louisiana
- Delgado Community College
- Delta School of Business and Technology
- Dillard University
- Grambling State University
- Herzing University Kenner
- ITT Technical Institute Baton Rouge
- ITT Technical Institute Saint Rose
- L E Fletcher Technical Community College
- Louisiana College
- Louisiana Delta Community College Monroe Campus
- Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
- Louisiana State University Eunice
- Louisiana State University Alexandria
- Louisiana State University Shreveport
- Louisiana Tech University
- Loyola University New Orleans
- McCann School of Business & Technology Monroe
- McNeese State University
- Medvance Institute Baton Rouge
- Nicholls State University
- Northeast Louisiana Technical College Delta Ouachita Campus
- Northshore Technical Community College
- Northwest Louisiana Technical College
- Northwestern State University of Louisiana
- Nunez Community College
- Our Lady of Holy Cross College
- Our Lady of the Lake College
- Remington College Baton Rouge Campus
- Remington College Lafayette Campus
- Remington College Shreveport Campus
- River Parishes Community College
- Saint Joseph Seminary College
- South Central Louisiana Technical College Young Memorial Campus
- South Louisiana Community College
- Southeastern Louisiana University
- Southern University and A & M College
- Southern University at New Orleans
- Southern University at Shreveport
- Sowela Technical Community College
- Tulane University of Louisiana
- University of Louisiana at Lafayette
- University of Louisiana Monroe
- University of New Orleans
- University of Phoenix Baton Rouge
- University of Phoenix Lafayette
- University of Phoenix Louisiana Campus
- University of Phoenix Shreveport Bossier
- Virginia College
- Xavier University of Louisiana
Title IX violations and Title IX charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process, and Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of his clients at universities and colleges throughout the nation. 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 disciplinary cases in Louisiana and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today.