Sexual Misconduct and Title IX Violations at St. John’s University – New York

Going to college is an exciting experience for new students. You may have lived in the same town your whole life, and this is your first time away from home. Or maybe you've moved around a lot and are looking forward to staying in one place for four years. Either way, you've worked hard to get into St. John's University, and it can feel overwhelming and confusing if you are accused of sexual misconduct or a Title IX violation. Where do you turn? Who can you trust? If you or someone you love has been accused of something similar, an attorney advisor is your best bet to preserve your place at St. John's. Lento Law Firm has spent years helping students just like yourself navigate these complex accusations. Call today.

What Is Title IX?

Title IX is a federal regulation that creates a particular requirement that all federally funded colleges and universities must uphold when managing sexual discrimination and sexual violence 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

St. John's University-New York is committed to eliminating discrimination and sexual misconduct on campus. It defines sexual misconduct as dating violence, domestic violence, sexual activity without consent, stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

What Happens After an Allegation of Sexual Misconduct at St. John's University - New York?

Students at St. John’s University – New York are encouraged to report sexual misconduct and Title IX violations. If you have been accused of either action, you will receive notice of the complaint and be asked to tell your side of the story. Initially, the university will speak to the complainant and determine if a formal complaint is necessary. If it is, the Title IX Coordinator will reach out to you for a formal interview. Most universities try to resolve sexual misconduct and Title IX violation cases rather quickly, so the formal interview will occur soon after receiving notice of the accusations.

When the Title IX Coordinator concludes the interview, they will determine if a no-contact order is appropriate. If they do, you may be required to move from your dormitory or change your class schedule to avoid being close to the complainant at any given time. At this point, the Coordinator will launch a formal investigation into the incident.

During the formal investigation, the investigator will meet with the complainant and the accused student, and any other individual who might have knowledge of the incident. They will also gather and review relevant evidence and other materials that might shine a light on the matter. Once their investigation is complete, they will send a report to the Coordinator, the Hearing Officer, and both parties for review prior to a hearing.

All students are allowed to have an attorney-advisor accompany them through each step of the grievance process. Attorney advisors will help you review the evidence the investigator has gathered, discover further evidence, and create a strategic defense for the hearing.

At the hearing, both parties will have an equal opportunity to present their side of the story. You will be able to call witnesses to the meeting on your behalf, argue the other side's evidence, and present your own for the Hearing Officer to review. When both parties have finished presenting and cross-questioning, the Hearing Officer will decide if there is a preponderance of evidence to show that you are responsible for the accused actions.

Students who are found responsible will be subjected to specific sanctions. Sanctions can range from:

  • A formal warning
  • Housing probation
  • University premises restriction
  • Suspension or transfer/expulsion from university housing
  • Student life probation
  • University disciplinary probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

Appealing a Sexual Misconduct or Title IX Violation Decision at St. John's University - New York

Universities are supposed to afford their students an opportunity to appeal the Hearing Officer's decisions. At the St. John's University – New York, the appeal must be submitted within ten days of being given notice of the Hearing Officer's decision. Additionally, the appeal can only be made on the following grounds:

  1. Procedural irregularity that affected the outcome
  2. New evidence is present that was not reasonably available during the hearing and would have affected the Hearing Officer's decision
  3. The Title IX Coordinator, investigator, or the Hearing Officer had a conflict of interest or bias for either party that affected the outcome

A three-party panel will review the appeal and either affirm the decision of the Hearing Officer, reverse the decision, or modify a sanction or remedy. Once the hearing panel makes its decision, it is final and cannot be appealed further.

How a Skilled Attorney-Advisor Can Help

Being accused of sexual misconduct or a Title IX violation can be a hard pill to swallow. It will affect your entire life, even if you are found not responsible for the action. For instance, students who are found not responsible may have a hard time shaking the fear and confusion, leading to mental health and self-confidence struggles down the road. And for students who are found responsible and punished with expulsion or suspension, those punishments live on your transcripts permanently. If you apply to another school to finish your undergraduate degree or apply to graduate school, you will have to explain the notations to the admissions board.

A skilled attorney advisor will be able to help mitigate these negative consequences by creating a strong defense. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have spent their careers helping college students across the country who have been accused of sexual misconduct or Title IX violations. They will not let you get lost in the shuffle. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.

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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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