Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Defense - University of Utah

The University of Utah has strict measures in place to ensure that every single one of its students is safe at all times. The university has experienced ‘rising rates of sexual assault and stalking' and, as such, is doing everything it can to reverse that trend. The school's countermeasures involve widespread education on the meaning of consent, clearly accessible guidelines for reporting sexual misconduct, and stark punitive measures for any student found guilty of untoward sexual activity.

These measures are useful insofar as they are keeping students safe. However, these measures and the general atmosphere they create at the University of Utah make it a difficult time to be unfairly accused of sexual assault. The university is coming down harshly on apparent offenders, and it's all too easy for your school to come to a hasty conclusion regarding guilt in order to close a case.

If you're worried about your upcoming sexual misconduct investigation at the University of Utah, that's a sign that you're taking this seriously. You should. Sexual misconduct allegations, Title IX investigations, and related disciplinary action can make your future a lot more difficult than it needs to be.

What are the Title IX and sexual misconduct policies at the University of Utah?

Title IX is a federal rights law that governs public schools and their responses to discrimination and sexual misconduct allegations. Under Title IX, all schools that receive public funding must investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct quickly or risk losing their funding.

The specific ways that schools need to implement Title IX tend to change over time (e.g., with changing administrations), so many schools have Title IX policies and processes in place as well as more general sexual misconduct and discrimination policies to keep their students safe. The University of Utah has a non-discrimination policy, a sexual misconduct policy, and Title IX information available.

Your school's Title IX page makes it clear that the University of Utah finds the following actions punishable under at least one policy:

  • Sexual or gender-based harassment
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Stalking
  • Nonconsensual sexual contact
  • Nonconsensual sexual penetration
  • Dating violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault

What happens after the University of Utah receives information about a possible instance of sexual misconduct?

Once the Title IX Coordinator at the University of Utah learns that a student may have committed sexual misconduct, the university will provide written notice to the University administrator as well as both the complainant, the respondent, and the Vice President of Student Affairs. This notice will contain information about the allegations, the policies that are associated with the alleged incident, and as many details as the university currently has about what happened.

The university will then launch into an investigation to determine guilt in the named situation. This may involve speaking with witnesses, reviewing social media, and examining the behavioral records of all parties involved. At the end of the investigation, the university will provide an updated statement to all parties and meet to determine guilt and an appropriate disciplinary response. You will have the right, however, to submit an appeal.

What are my options for appealing as a student at the University of Utah?

Doing everything reasonably possible to avoid a finding of responsibility and its attendant sanctions during the disciplinary process is of course paramount. If a respondent is found responsible, however, it may be necessary to file an appeal. The appeals process, at the University of Utah, involves gathering the evidence or basis for an appeal and filing a persuasive document with the University. Typically, in an appeal, you would focus on new evidence that was previously unavailable, a procedural error on the part of the University, or argue that the recommended sanction is disproportionate.

At the University of Utah, students file Title IX appeals with one of the vice presidents of the University. This has to happen within ten business days of the University's decision. The applicable vice president will issue a final decision ten days after receipt of your appeal.

What are the punishments that I face if my appeal is unsuccessful?

Under the University of Utah Student Code, the following sanctions are possible consequences:

  • Fines
  • Restitution
  • Written Warnings
  • Withheld Diplomas
  • Permanent No-Contact Directives
  • Educational Training
  • Limitations on Behavior
  • Mandatory Behavioral Coaching
  • Exclusion from Campus
  • Restriction of Participation in Campus Activities
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Revocation of Degree or Certificate

These punitive measures may seem like they're enough. After all, even one of the lighter measures on this list may seriously impact your entire college experience. You could come out of the other side of your sexual misconduct allegations with a different living assignment, changed relationships, and zero privileges. This could even make you want to switch schools even if the University of Utah doesn't suspend or dismiss you - and, unfortunately, in a sexual misconduct situation, you will most likely face suspension or expulsion if found responsible in most cases.

However, even expulsion isn't the most insidious repercussion of sexual misconduct allegations. Most of the disciplinary responses above, including expulsion, will also result in a disciplinary note on your transcript or permanent university discipline record. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's one of the most lasting consequences of your college misconduct—whether it really happened or not.

In the future, when prospective employers or new academic institutions request your records from the University of Utah—and they will, they'll see the record of your alleged sexual misconduct and associated discipline. Those employers and admissions officers will seriously think twice before offering you opportunities you would otherwise have won.

You can't let this event tarnish your entire future You need to take action now to make sure that your reputation remains clean. That's why you need to reach out to a professional for help.

Protect Your Future with the Help of Top Student Defense Attorney Joseph D. Lento

After you go through a Title IX or sexual misconduct disciplinary process, your university will give you some type of sanction, after which you move on. Life returns to normal. Everything will be okay—or will it?

Unfortunately, the true repercussions of a college sexual misconduct allegation, however untrue that allegation may be, can last for an entire lifetime. All of your hard work towards your degree, all of your dreams for your future—these allegations can affect all of that, and more.

This is why fighting your misconduct charges right now is so important. You don't want this incident hurting you for the rest of your life. Neither do we, at the Lento Law Firm. Joseph D. Lento can bring you the benefit of years of targeted experience helping students across the country with Title IX and sexual misconduct cases. He can help you put together a strategic defense, draft persuasive documents, prepare for hearings, and more.

Don't tackle this by yourself. Call on the Lento Law Firm for the expertise you need. The number is 888-535-3686, or contact us online today.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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