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Supreme Court Nominee Made Landmark Ruling in Sexual Assault Case

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Oct 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation will have a ripple effect on legislation for years to come. One area where Barrett may have a significant impact is on how schools handle sexual assault cases. The Washington Post recently reported that Barrett made a landmark ruling in a sexual misconduct case involving Purdue University. Here's what you need to know about the case and its potential effect on sexual misconduct investigations at universities.

Barrett's Ruling Against Purdue

Barrett led a panel of judges that ruled Purdue University discriminated against a male student accused of sexual assault. The university suspended the male student for a year in response to an accusation that he groped a female student without her consent.

Barrett claimed university officials may have sided with the accuser based on her gender. She ruled in favor of the defendant and stated that it was plausible Purdue discriminated against him based on his sex. In the case, the defendant cited that he received a copy of the investigator's reports moments before his disciplinary hearing. Purdue's panel also prohibited the defendant from using his roommate as witnesses to dispute the charges.

Barrett's decision sent the Purdue case back to the trial court. Experts suggest that Barrett's ruling created a standard for other similar sexual assault cases. The federal district court in Washington, D.C., has already adopted the standard, along with circuit courts across the nation.

Barrett's Impact on Title IX

Barrett's decision in the Purdue came ahead of sweeping changes to sexual misconduct cases at universities nationwide. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos recently issued new Title IX guidelines that expand protections for defendants in sexual assault investigations.

Title IX currently prohibits federally funded universities from participating in sex discrimination. The new guidelines changed how schools respond to sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct allegations. Universities must now hold a live hearing that allows for cross-examination of the accuser and defendant. Students who do not participate in the hearing do not have their statements used in making a determination.

Experts believe the Purdue ruling will have a broader impact on how schools respond to sexual assault allegations. Universities must be able to prove they do not show bias in their handling of assault investigations. If courts find that a school breaks Title IX rules, the university will risk losing federal funds.

Student Sexual Assault Cases

Barrett's high-profile case and the recent Title IX changes have shed light on sexual misconduct at college campuses. The Purdue trial indicates that schools may discriminate against defendants in their determinations.

Students accused of sexual assault may face challenges in reaching a fair outcome.

It's crucial to contact an attorney if you or someone you know faces sexual assault charges. An attorney can fight back against biased outcomes and infringements of your rights. They can help you gather the evidence necessary to create a defense and push for a favorable determination.

Nationwide Title IX Defense

You don't have to face a sexual misconduct allegation alone. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent many years representing students and working to achieve a fair outcome. Contact Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.

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