Being accused of sexual misconduct at a college or university is one of the most stressful situations one can be in, especially if said student genuinely believes that they are innocent. These accusations turn a student's entire college experience upside down. In light of accusations and prior to a determination of guilt or innocence, acquaintances, friends, and society feel compelled to take sides in this debacle.
The reality of Title IX proceedings in institutions is, that for accused students, they can seem incredibly unfair. It resembles that of a witch hunt, rather than a proceeding that entitles due process under federal law. The fact that an accused student in a college proceeding has far fewer rights than they would if they were involved a criminal trial accusations of the same conduct doesn't make the situation any better.
For example, in college proceedings, the opportunity for an accused student to challenge the statements of an accuser through direct cross-examination or any other means of confrontation is not permitted. There are also no rules of evidence that could be applied in a school sexual misconduct case that protects an accused student from the submission of irrelevant or unjustified evidence.
An accused student's right to submit their own evidence in these cases, however, has aided in leveling the playing field. This is a big opportunity for said students to utilize one of the greatest resources in sexual misconduct cases: experts.
In Title IX proceedings, an expert is not required to testify, will not be subject to a determination of qualification, will not partake in cross-examination and will not have evidence challenged by the other party. An accused student is able to merely submit a report drafted by an expert, and have the expert's findings considered in the process of making a determination and recommending sanctions.
An accused student may want to submit evidence from experts for multiple purposes. Perhaps, the accuser acquires photos from an incident that they claim you caused in a certain way. The accused could have a doctor examine these photos, and use their expertise to invalidate these claims by determining that the injuries were not sustained the way the accuser claims, or that the injuries don't match the date or time of the incident. The accused may want to use the expertise of another expert, like a forensic psychologist, for example, to identify concerns about the mental health of the accuser, or as an explanation for inconsistencies in an accuser's account of events.
Some accused students have taken a more defensive route when utilizing their rights to an expert by taking a polygraph exam proving that they are telling the truth. A student may also take a psychosexual evaluation to establish that they display tendencies that are low risk when it comes to committing a sexual offense.
The only way to prevail in these flawed proceedings is to proactively defend yourself, and defend yourself well. This includes identifying the rights experts that will help you in your case, and obtaining reports from these experts within the relatively short investigation period.
Student Defense Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct at your school, it's important you take advantage of the few rights that are entitled to you in proceedings. As indicated above, experts can help even the playing field in your case. For more information on experts, and representation that can help you identify the right experts in your case, contact skilled defense attorney Joseph D. Lento. He's helped students in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide overcome these charges, and he can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.