Professional and Criminal Punishments: What’s the Difference?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

The list of potential consequences a person faces after an allegation of sexual misconduct is long.

It's also varied: The penalties applicable in each person's case depend on several factors. The job they have, their geographical location, their history of conduct—ultimately, a person found guilty of sexual misconduct can likely expect a range of punishments.

If the accused is a teacher, they will very likely experience professional repercussions for their alleged behavior. The processes that accused teachers will face at their own academic institutions can be harsh. One Pennsylvania former music teacher received several professional ramifications at his school as the result of an inappropriate relationship with a student.

The Penalties Accused Teachers Face

This 54-year-old educator admitted to initiating sexual contact with a high school student. In addition to exposing himself and performing lewd acts, the teacher sent the student pornographic images. The former music teacher submitted a large number of character references, all glowingly positive. However, the officials adjudicating his case noted that the references only went to show that the teacher had committed his crime in secret while presenting an ethical face to his community.

The accused received many consequences as a result of his actions, including a mandatory 25-year period of registration on the Megan's Law website.

When teachers face accusations of sexual misconduct, they often accrue many repercussions through school processes, including loss of their jobs, reduction of staff privileges, and loss of faith among colleagues. The county school district in this case has a specific section in their personnel handbook that states, "The district will not tolerate or condone sexual harassment in the workplace. The board considers sexual harassment to be a major offense which may result in disciplinary action or dismissal of the offending employee."

If you're a teacher facing allegations of sexual misconduct, there's a lot at stake for you - regardless of how the allegations play out. Consequences you face could include:

  • Termination of Employment: Your school may fire you when these allegations come to light, or at a minimum, suspend you while an investigation takes place.
  • Registration as a Sex Offender: You may have to alert your communities, going forward, of your past alleged misconduct.
  • A Direct Hit to Your Reputation: Regardless of other penalties, however steep, your reputation will likely never be the same.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is simple: If you're hoping to remain a trusted educator for years to come, your past history of conduct needs to be unimpeachable. Allegations of this serious nature can have severe consequences, whether or not they lead to criminal charges.

One thing that is absolutely vital to remember is that - no matter what else happens - schools have Title IX due process, and those processes will play out. You need to ensure that your reputation remains unimpeachable, even through your school's procedures. Otherwise, you could find that your reputation goes before you, spoiling any potential job leads you find. You could even find that your community no longer considers you a trustworthy, upstanding member of society.

Don't risk all of that. Your reputation is worth fighting for—aggressively. You need to manage your school's processes, including Title IX procedures, in the best way possible to support your future profession. The Lento Law Firm is here to help you do exactly that.

Trust Joseph D. Lento to Help You Protect Your Reputation. Call Today

Joseph D. Lento has years of experience protecting the reputation of teachers who need a second chance. He will aggressively fight for you and your future. Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today for more information.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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