It can be extremely alarming to receive a notice from California State University – Fullerton that you are going to be investigated for sexual misconduct. It can be hard to know what to expect next, whether this is a complete surprise or you were hoping it wouldn't happen. How will these accusations affect your future? How can you prepare for what's to come? You've worked so hard to get to where you are in life, and the truth is, sexual misconduct allegations, when not addressed appropriately, can completely derail that hard work. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has advised hundreds of college students across the country accused of sexual misconduct by their university and works tirelessly to uncover all the facts and ensure your school upholds your rights. He won't let you slip through the disciplinary system's cracks. Call 888.535.3686 today to schedule a consultation.
Title IX and California State University – Fullerton
Title IX is a federal regulation that creates a specific standard that all federally funded colleges and universities must uphold when managing sexual discrimination and sexual violence on their campus. These standards include:
- Clear and immediate procedures for sexual misconduct allegations
- Designated personnel to handle instances of sexual violence
- In Title IX hearings, the standard of evidence should be “more likely than not” or “preponderance of evidence”
- Both parties involved should have access to the same procedures – advisors, appeals, and presentation of the evidence
- Retaliation protection
California State University – Fullerton is dedicated to creating a safe atmosphere for all its students, faculty, and staff, regardless of gender. And as a federally funded university, Cal State must abide by the standards described above, so they created the Title IX and Gender Equality Office, which ensures that all programs and activities are free of sex or gender-based discrimination.
Cal State defines gender as sex, gender identity, gender expression, transgender, and sex stereotyping. Additionally, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and retaliation are prohibited – similar to the federal mandate explained above.
What Happens After an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct?
After an allegation of sexual misconduct is made, the university will separate you and the victim. This ranges from changing your residence or altering your class schedule to forcing you out of certain extracurricular activities. Then the Title IX Coordinator will investigate the complaint and determine whether you have violated the sexual misconduct portion of the Student Code of Conduct or the federal Title IX regulation and what punishments you will face.
The Disciplinary Process
Once a complaint is received and the initial investigation completed, the Title IX Coordinator will notify the Student Conduct Administrator, who will investigate the complaint. If the Student Conduct Administrator and the Title IX coordinator believe you have violated the sexual misconduct/Title IX portions of the Student Code of Conduct, they will notify you within ten days of concluding that investigation and give you a time and date for a conference on the matter. Additionally, you can have an attorney-advisor at your side during these meetings and conferences, but you must provide the Student Conduct Administrator at least five days before the hearing with their name, phone number, and address.
The hearing will take place within 20 days of delivering notice of the hearing. During this hearing, you and the complainant will be allowed to present relevant evidence and witnesses. After the hearing, the Hearing Officer will determine if you violated the Code of Conduct. This decision must be made upon a preponderance of the evidence. The university must show it was more likely than not that you violated the code of conduct based on the evidence and witnesses presented.
Once the university has determined that a violation has occurred, they will determine the appropriate sanctions. These sanctions can be appealed within ten working days after you receive a letter of the decision. This appeal must be in writing and delivered to the Equal Opportunity and Whistleblower Compliance Unit in Long Beach, California, and you will receive a final appeal notice within ten working days of the written appeal being received by the office.
What's at Stake in My Sexual Misconduct Case?
If you are accused of sexual misconduct at Cal State, the repercussions are long-lasting. Sanctions vary from having to pay for injuries or damages to losing your financial aid, being denied access to campus, suspension, or expulsion.
Any of these sanctions could have disastrous effects on not only your future but your current quality of life. If you can't access campus when the victim is there, you may have to alter your entire schedule and take classes when it is less convenient for you. If you lose your financial aid, you may be forced to take out loans with higher interest rates, affecting how you live your life post-graduation. And if you are suspended or expelled, those sanctions follow you around for the rest of your life. Any time you apply to graduate school or for professional employment, your college transcripts will proceed with your application, including these sanctions. You will have to explain what happened over and over, and if you hope to pursue medical or law school for example, those punishments will need to be explained before you can even receive your medical or law license. In short, being found responsible for Title IX sexual misconduct can literally have consequences for the rest of your life.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
Being accused of sexual misconduct violations is one thing, but being adjudicated as having done so can affect your future in ways you probably haven't even thought of yet. Attorney-advisors will work on your behalf to avoid these consequences by gathering all the facts and relevant evidence surrounding your case. They will utilize these tools to create strategic defenses that bring about the best possible outcome. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have unparalleled experience helping students overcome Title IX allegations across the United States. He and his team will work diligently to ensure the university is upholding your rights to a fair proceeding. You do not have to weather this storm alone. The Lento Law Firm can help. Call 888.535.3686 today to schedule a consultation or visit us online.