Sexual Misconduct Charges at National University College

If you're facing sexual misconduct charges from your college or university, or if you think you might be accused at some point, you need to take the situation seriously.

Many students think campus misconduct is no big deal, that judicial procedures are simple, and punishments are generally light. The fact is, the minimum sanction in these cases is almost always suspension. More likely, your school will expel you if it finds you responsible for a violation. You can't just re-enroll after that or transfer to another university. Expulsion comes with a transcript notation, and few schools will admit someone with a history of sexual offenses.

Meanwhile, procedures can be enormously complicated. Most cases are governed not just by university policy but by federal law. The law—Title IX—is tricky and subject to constant political dispute. The rules that dictate how schools implement Title IX run to some five hundred pages, not counting all the presidential memorandums and judicial opinions that continue to be issued every year.

So, you need to take your charge seriously. What does that mean? It means finding a qualified, experienced attorney to handle your case. You can't handle charges like these on your own. In fact, even a family or local attorney won't do. The bottom line is that you need a Title IX attorney, someone who's studied the law and who has experience representing student clients.

Title IX and Sexual Misconduct

National University College handles most of its sexual misconduct cases using standards set by Title IX. That means a good defense almost always starts with understanding this federal law.

Title IX was passed in 1972, with the intention of curbing sexual discrimination on college campuses. Since that time, the term “discrimination” has been broadened to include all forms of sexual harassment, from simple verbal harassment to stalking, dating violence, and rape. At the same time, the government adopted a set of rigid guidelines detailing precisely how schools must go about investigating and adjudicating allegations.

The NU Student Code of Conduct offers some useful information about how the school interprets Title IX. Here are the highlights.

  • National University College has a Title IX Coordinator who handles all aspects of school policy regarding the law. That includes deciding which allegations merit a full investigation.
  • If the Coordinator should open an investigation into your case, you are entitled under Title IX to a Notice of the Charges. This notice must include details about the allegation and the name of the alleged victim (Complainant).
  • In addition to the right to notice, you also have several other important due process rights under Title IX, including rights to
    • An advisor, who may be an attorney
    • Equal treatment to the Complainant in all matters
    • Review all evidence in the case
    • Advanced notification of all meetings and hearings
    • Investigators and decision-makers who are free of bias
    • A presumption of Not Responsible (innocent) until proven responsible
  • The Title IX Coordinator is also responsible for appointing an Investigator to look into the case.
  • As part of the investigation, the Investigator meets separately with both parties, interviews witnesses, and collects physical evidence.
  • Ultimately, the Investigator is tasked with completing a summary report of their findings. This report should be objective and unbiased, and both sides have ten days in which to review it and suggest any necessary revisions before it is finalized.
  • Once the Investigative Report is forwarded to the Coordinator, the Coordinator must choose one or more decision-makers to preside over a live hearing.
  • At the hearing, both sides may present their full cases. This means you can make arguments, offer evidence, and call witnesses. Title IX further allows you to cross-examine one another and any other witnesses against you. However, only advisors may conduct this cross-examination.
  • The final element of the hearing is the determination as to whether or not you are Responsible for having committed an offense. This decision must be based on a legal standard known as “Preponderance of Evidence.” In simple terms, this standard requires Decision-Makers to find you Responsible if they believe it is “more likely than not” that you committed an offense.
  • Finally, you have the right to an official Notice of the Outcome of the hearing, and you further have the right to appeal this outcome. However, grounds for appeal are strictly limited to
    • The discovery of new evidence that has a direct bearing on the case outcome
    • Procedural errors that may have affected the outcome
    • Bias on the part of a Title IX official

In addition, the Complainant has a right to appeal the outcome as well.

Non-Title IX Cases?

Not every accusation of sexual misconduct at every school is subject to a Title IX investigation. Since 2020, off-campus incidents have been excluded from coverage under the law. While they are not subject to Title IX, however, many schools, including National University College, have created new policies that make them violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

How, then, are such “Non-Title IX” violations handled under NU's Code of Conduct? For the most part, the same procedures apply in both types of cases. There is one important difference, however. Non-Title IX cases don't afford Respondents the right to a hearing. Instead, at the end of the investigation, the Investigator makes a decision as to guilt and innocence. This decision can be appealed, but only under the same strict limitations that apply to Title IX appeals.

How Can Joseph D. Lento Help?

Joseph D. Lento is a fully-licensed, fully-qualified defense attorney. He's not just a defense attorney, though. Joseph D. Lento is what's known as a Title IX attorney. What does that mean? It means Joseph D. Lento built his career defending students just like you from sexual misconduct charges. He has studied the law and knows it inside and out. It means Joseph D. Lento knows how schools operate. He knows the tactics they often use, and he knows how to counter those tactics. Most importantly, though, it means Joseph D. Lento is on your side. He understands what you're going through, and he'll do everything he can to make sure you're treated fairly and that you get the best possible resolution to your case.

If you or your child has been accused of sexual misconduct, don't wait to see what the school or the other side will do. Begin building your case now. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-555-3686 or use our automated online form.