Another Title IX case is stretching the limits of when it is reasonable for people accused of sexual misconduct to face repercussions from an educational institution.
Former Coach Facing Heat from New School for Off-Campus Allegations
The case comes from Alaska.
Back in 2018, the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Nordic ski coach was accused by his then-girlfriend of sexually assaulting her at her home while she was incapacitated. She was also employed by the University, though it is unclear in what capacity.
She notified the school, the school's police force, and the local police force of the incident. However, no criminal charges were filed against the Nordic ski coach, whose criminal record is clean.
The college, however, initiated a Title IX investigation. That investigation led to the coach being put on paid administrative leave while it was ongoing. He has since taken on a role as a ski coach at West Valley High School.
The woman also filed for a restraining order soon after the incident. A court granted her one that lasted for a year. She filed to extend that restraining order in the past few weeks.
That court filing was made known to the high school, which then decided to suspend the ski coach. The coach claims that he passed a background check before taking his part-time role with the high school, but the school is now saying that a background check might not have been done.
How Far Does Title IX Reach?
At some point or another, we need to be asking just how far Title IX will reach before some sort of limitation is put on it.
In this case, we have two college employees in a consensual relationship that ended with alleged sexual misconduct. That incident, though, happened off-campus in one of their homes. Neither one of them was on the job at the time.
Nevertheless, the woman filed a Title IX claim with the college – a claim that led to the man's administrative leave from school and now his suspension from his new role.
Unfortunately, this is not even the furthest stretch of Title IX's scope and jurisdiction over the past few months. As we recounted earlier in our blog, the Ohio State University is facing a Title IX allegation because someone unrelated to the university was allegedly harassed by someone else unassociated with the school, simply because it happened on school grounds.
In both of these cases, the alleged victim is insinuating that the school is somehow responsible for what happened. How the college could have prevented it from happening, though, is beyond comprehension.
Joseph D. Lento: Title IX Defense Lawyer
Joseph D. Lento is a national Title IX advisor and a Title IX defense lawyer who represents students, school employees, and faculty members who have been accused of sexual misconduct and are facing Title IX sanctions. As this case from Alaska shows, those sanctions can spill over into other realms of life and lead to a suspension from a job wholly unrelated to the alleged incident.
Call his law office at (888) 535-3686 or contact him online.