Sexual misconduct is serious. It can traumatize anyone that experiences it. When students experience sexual misconduct, colleges across the United States tend to respond with flawed investigations and severe punishments.
This is because your student's school has a responsibility to keep your child safe. At Northeastern University, the Office for University Equity and Compliance makes it clear that students must report all incidents of sexual misconduct. In an effort to keep your child safe, Northeastern is in compliance with all federal and state laws regarding discrimination or assault.
The facts are clear: As much as all parents wish these types of events just didn't happen, they do. Just recently, the police had to investigate an allegation of sexual assault that concerned two students in one of Northeastern's academic buildings - at lunchtime on a Thursday.
Clearly, sexual assault happens. You need to be ready to be proactive, whether your student experiences it or stands accused. Working with a legal advisor that has experience with Title IX and sexual misconduct cases is the best way to ensure that your child has their best shot at an unencumbered future.
Northeastern University's Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Policies
The federal government recently released a comprehensive set of updates to Title IX, the law that influences how publicly-funded universities must respond to sexual misconduct allegations. As a result, academic institutions across the US have updated their policies to ensure that they comply.
Northeastern University has responded by creating a new policy, termed the Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, to adjudicate the instances of misconduct that the new Title IX regulations no longer cover. Alongside Northeastern's revamped Title IX policy, the University makes it clear that the following actions could merit harsh punitive measures:
- Sexual Harassment
- Sexual Assault
- Domestic Violence
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Dating Violence
This is not an exhaustive list; the University retains the right to administer restorative measures or punishments to any student who endangers another, whether the policy has listed out the specific crime or not. Therefore, it's crucial that you and your family work with a legal team with experience with these types of issues. Their expertise will be invaluable as you begin to put together your student's defense.
What Can You and Your Family Expect as the Result of a Sexual Misconduct Investigation at Northeastern University?
Once your school's Title IX coordinator learns that your student has allegedly committed an offense against another, the school will respond with an Administrative Hearing. First, the University will notify you and your family of the specific charges against your student. Then, the University will work with an experienced investigator to find out all they can about the specific nature of the incident, generating an Investigative Report as a result.
At the hearing, trained University employees and external professionals will hear your child's representation, interview any witnesses, and ultimately recommend further action.
The specific sanctions that your child could face will depend upon the severity of the alleged offense. Northeastern's Code of Conduct suggests that you could expect any of the following University responses:
- Suspension (including deferred suspension)
- Disciplinary probation
- A letter of warning
- Cancellation of your student's residence hall or dining agreement
- Loss of memberships in any clubs, teams, or student organizations
- Loss of access to University buildings or resources
- Community service
- Required letter of apology
- Required education regarding the nature of their infractions
- Referral to external law enforcement, in particularly severe cases
This list of punishments may seem long enough. It is. However, the true consequences of your child's offense may, unfortunately, go far beyond immediate on-campus measures. If your student has a charge of sexual misconduct on their permanent record, any future employers, school admissions boards, or scholarship committees may think twice before doing your student any favors.
Since this is the case, you need to act now to protect your child's rights. Otherwise, they may suffer regrettable long-term consequences. During your child's sexual misconduct investigation, they have the right to timely notifications regarding their charges, the right to a fair hearing, and the right to adequate representation. Ensuring that Northeastern does not forget that your child has these rights could make all of the difference.
By starting now to build a strategic case, by choosing a top-tier, highly-skilled legal team to represent your child, you give your child the best chance of enjoying the right future that your family has worked hard to maintain. You'll also enjoy the peace of mind that accompanies the knowledge that you don't have to defend your student yourself. Instead, you have expert professionals on your side, every step of the way.
Joseph D. Lento Is A Title IX and Sexual Misconduct Advisor Ready to Help You
When you find out that your student faces sexual misconduct allegations at Northeastern University, your first response might be to panic. You might instantly feel confused, scared, and overwhelmed. This is completely understandable. There's a lot that you have to figure out, and you have to get your strategy together in a timely manner.
If this is your family's first brush with your school's disciplinary system, you'll find that there's a lot to take in. When you're first navigating due process at Northeastern, it will be immensely helpful to have a legal team well-versed in these matters at your side.
At the Lento Law Firm, we're ready to help.
Joseph D. Lento has years of experience successfully managing a strategic defense for students fighting sexual misconduct cases all across the country. He will help you understand Northeastern's policies, put together a strong case for your child, and assist with aggressive defense as you work towards a favorable outcome. Whether Northeastern chooses to pursue a formal investigation and hearing or other adjudicative routes, Joseph D. Lento will be there for you and your family.
For more information, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or contact us through our online form.