Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Violations at National University

Allegations of Title IX violations or other acts of sexual misconduct might feel like they have come out of nowhere. What do you do next? How do you defend yourself? You have worked so hard to get into college, you don't deserve to have your dream ripped away like this. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have spent years helping students in similar situations. They have unparalleled experience gathering evidence, questioning witnesses, and creating a strategic defense that will guarantee you the best possible outcome for your case. Call Lento Law Firm today.

What Is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal regulation that requires all federally funded colleges and universities to maintain certain standards when managing sexual discrimination and sexual violence accusations on their campus. These requirements 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

National University seeks to provide its community with an academic environment free from gender-based discrimination and sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence, stalking, domestic violence, and dating violence.

What Happens After an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct at National University?

Once National University becomes aware of a preliminary complaint, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to the complainant to gather more information. If the Title IX Coordinator believes there is enough preliminary evidence to warrant a formal complaint, they will ask the complainant to file one. In some cases, the complainant may not wish to pursue a formal complaint. If so, the Title IX Coordinator has the power to file the formal complaint without the complainant, but this does not make them a party to the grievance process.

After the formal complaint is filed, the Title IX Coordinator will launch an investigation into the matter. The investigator will meet with both the accused student and the complainant, gather and review documentary evidence, and speak to witnesses. The investigation is a fast process, and National University hopes to have it completed within 60 days. Prior to filing their final report, the investigator will distribute their notes to the complainant and accused student for review and comment. The remarks made by either party will be incorporated into the final report.

National University will appoint a three-person panel to adjudicate the matter in a formal hearing procedure. During this hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present their arguments, exhibit their evidence, and question witnesses. They will also have the chance to cross-examine the other party's evidence and witnesses.

When both parties have been heard, the three-person panel will deliberate in private over the responsibility of the accused student. They will also decide what sanctions are appropriate. Possible sanctions might include:

  • A warning
  • Counseling
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Withholding their diploma
  • Revoking their degree

Sanctions are meant to punish the behavior of the accused student. Therefore, students should not be subjected to punishments that are harsher than their charges.

Appealing a Sexual Misconduct or Title IX Violation Decision at National University

Like most other universities in the United States, National University allows either party to make a written request for appeal. Once the decision from the three-person panel is received, the accused student or complainant has seven days to file their appeal.

Appeals can only be made on the following grounds:

  1. There was a procedural error or lack of adequate due process that affected the outcome
  2. There is new evidence available now that was not reasonably available during the hearing or investigation that might affect the outcome of the matter
  3. The Title IX Coordinator, the investigator, or the hearing panel had a conflict of interest or bias for or against the complainant or accused student that affected the outcome of the matter

Your appeal will be denied if it does not fall under one of the grounds listed above. If it does meet those grounds, the appeal decision-maker will notify both parties. The decision on the appeal will be made within seven days. The appeal decision-maker will either decide to uphold the original judgment, dismiss it, or modify the sanctions imposed.

As both parties have the same opportunity to appeal the hearing decision, the accused student must be prepared to defend themselves again. If the idea of filing your appeal, or defending yourself from an appeal, is overwhelming, an attorney-advisor can help.

How an Experienced Attorney-advisor Can Help

If you are accused of a Title IX violation or an act of sexual misconduct at National University, you will experience other consequences besides the sanctions imposed. For instance, if your degree is revoked or withheld, you will have to think about starting your education over again at a new school. Additionally, if you are found responsible for committing a Title IX violation or an act of sexual misconduct and the Title IX Coordinator suspends or expels you, you will have to explain the incident on any future admissions application.

Further, for students put on probation, you might have your access to campus restricted, which could force you to change your class schedule, drop your work-study, and give up your social life altogether. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm are experienced attorney-advisors who will work diligently to mitigate any unnecessary consequences you might experience. They have the passion and fighting attitude to guarantee you the best possible outcome for your case. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation. You do not have to weather this storm alone. They can help.

Contact Us 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 the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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