Spring is in the air, bringing warmer temperatures, fresh green grass, and new blossoms on the trees. If you've ever seen Bambi, you know what else Spring means: everyone's liable to be “twitterpated.”
When young love is in full bloom, though, you can also expect a rise in sexual misconduct cases. Maybe that's because when love goes wrong, it can lead to hurt feelings and false accusations. And this year, the situation's likely to be even worse. As Covid-19 restrictions continue to lift, you can expect more love, more breakups, and more Title IX cases.
Just What is Title IX?
If you're not in the know about Title IX, it's the federal law that governs most incidents of sexual misconduct on college campuses. Passed in 1972, the law encouraged educational institutions to prosecute such incidents by tying those prosecutions to government funding. As a result, today, most schools pursue allegations aggressively, sometimes too aggressively, because they have a built-in incentive to do so.
In late 2020, the Trump administration instituted brand new Title IX procedures designed to give some due process rights back to the accused. Good news for defendants, right? Unfortunately, with a new administration in place, the Title IX rules are once again in flux. And many schools have chosen to circumvent the new rules anyway by prosecuting these cases as student conduct violations rather than under Title IX. In the end, many students still don't get basic rights, such as the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. Plus, navigating the university judicial system has become harder than ever.
What to Do if you Find Yourself Accused
You may not think you will ever be accused of sexual misconduct, but it can happen to anyone. The penalties can be stiff, including suspension and even expulsion. In addition, some schools suspend students before the case has even been decided, during the investigation.
What can you do if you're accused? First, keep your cool. Then,
- Hold on to any and all evidence
- Document everything
- Review your schools Title IX and student conduct policies
- Don't talk about the case
- Stay away from your accuser
Call Joseph D. Lento
Accusations of sexual misconduct are serious business. You can bet the school will take such an accusation seriously, and you should too. Luckily, you're allowed to choose an advisor, and this advisor can be a lawyer.
The very first thing you should do then, if you find yourself in a situation like this, is to contact attorney Joseph D. Lento. Joseph D. Lento specializes in Title IX law, university policy, and sexual misconduct cases. With years of experience defending clients, he is empathetic and understands what you're facing. He's also committed to protecting your rights and doggedly determined to get you the best possible outcome in your case. He has helped hundreds of clients face and defeat Title IX allegations across the United States and he can help you too.