Title IX and College Sexual Misconduct at Colorado State University - Fort Collins

Colorado State University in Fort Collins advertises an attractive mix of innovation, education, and recreation, where you can “let your passion guide you.” Mountains, whitewater rafting, and hiking trails draw over 30,000 students to the hard-working college town an hour from exciting Denver. Colorado State University offers over 300 academic paths through programs from arts, humanities, and design, to western land, plant, and animal sciences. Its 248 graduate programs include ecology, materials science, adventure tourism, computer science, soil and crop science, and dozens of other programs fitting to a Rocky Mountain region research university.

Students attend Colorado State University-Fort Collins because they recognize the value of its education to their lives and careers. Don't lose that investment to false, exaggerated, or unfair sexual misconduct charges. If you face Title IX or other sexual misconduct charges at Colorado State University, then do as hundreds of other students nationwide have done: retain college misconduct defense attorney Joseph D. Lento at the Lento Law Firm. Trust attorney Lento with your college misconduct defense. Attorney Lento can help you formulate a winning defense.

Sexual Misconduct at Colorado State University

Title IX Prohibitions. Federal Title IX mandates that federally funded colleges and universities, like Colorado State University, prohibit certain forms of sexual misconduct constituting sex discrimination. Colorado State University clearly commits its Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity to carrying out that mandate. Colorado State University maintains a Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy that clearly prohibits the three Title IX forms of sexual misconduct:

  • sexual violence including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking;
  • quid-pro-quo harassment that conditions university benefits or services on unwelcome sexual conduct; and
  • hostile-environment harassment in the form of severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive unwelcome sexual conduct denying equal access based on sex.

Colorado State University's Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy includes other definitions affecting the reach of its sexual misconduct prohibitions. For example, Colorado State University's Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy incorporates Colorado Revised Statute §18-3-401's definition of consent as “cooperation in act or attitude pursuant to an exercise of free will and with knowledge of the nature of the act….” The same statute further provides that “submission under the influence of fear shall not constitute consent.”

Non-Title IX Prohibitions. Like many other colleges and universities, though, Colorado State University's Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy includes expansive examples and definitions of sexual harassment that go far beyond Title IX's strict definitions. For example, the policy understandably and laudably prohibits several forms of sexual exploitation such as prostitution, voyeurism, and exhibitionism. Yet Colorado State University also includes these vague categories and acts in its list of examples of prohibited sexual harassment:

  • gender-based bullying, including towards trans and non-binary people;
  • direct propositions of a sexual nature;
  • pressure for sexual activity;
  • unwelcome and unnecessary touching, patting, hugging, or brushing;
  • sexual remarks about a person's clothing or body even if complimentary;
  • remarks about sexual activity;
  • speculations about previous sexual experience;
  • comments of a sexual nature;
  • sexually explicit statements, questions, jokes, or anecdotes;
  • emails, texts, or social media posts with sexual words or images; and
  • visual displays of sexually oriented images outside the educational context.

Colorado State University's broad prohibition of sexual propositions, pressures, words, images, jokes, comments, compliments, and communications, and its readiness to punish any such thing, would likely astonish even a Puritan. Colorado State University's policy is so incredibly broad as to potentially encompass anything sexual, no matter how consensual or innocent. If you face college or university sexual misconduct allegations at Colorado State University that you do not understand or believe are false, exaggerated, or unfair, then retain national college sexual misconduct defense attorney Joseph D. Lento for your aggressive defense.

Colorado State University Sexual Misconduct Procedures

Complaints. Colorado State University determines sexual misconduct charges under a separate set of procedures. New Title IX regulations recently added protections for the accused that Colorado State University's procedures follow. Under the university's procedures, complaints of sexual misconduct go to the Title IX coordinator or another official in the university's Office of Title IX Programs and Gender Equity. That office conducts a preliminary inquiry to decide whether to remove the accused student, dismiss the complaint because it fails to allege a violation, or take other prompt action. Anyone may report sexual misconduct using the university's online form.

Investigation. Complaints arguably having merit may proceed to informal resolution. One or more investigators take over charges that don't resolve, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence. The investigator or investigators must share evidence with the accuser and accused. The investigation ends with a draft report shared with the accuser and accused for comment. The final investigation report may include those comments and additional evidence.

Hearing. A Student Conduct Services office reviews the final investigation report before referring it to a hearing. A university-appointed hearing officer conducts the hearing, at which witnesses must testify for the officer to consider their information. The accused student may retain an attorney to cross-examine witnesses at the hearing. The hearing officer decides the charges on a preponderance of the evidence. The university appoints an appellate official or appeals panel to hear any appeal.

These complaint, investigation, hearing, and appeal procedures provide substantial opportunities for college sexual misconduct defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to help accused students defend and defeat false and exaggerated charges. Colorado State University's sexual misconduct procedures permit attorney Lento to help write an accurate, complete, and clear denial of false charges, assist in informal resolution, gather exonerating and mitigating evidence for the investigation, cross-examine witnesses at the hearing, and conduct any necessary appeals.

Colorado State University Sexual Misconduct Sanctions

Colorado State University's Title IX Sexual Harassment Policy and related procedures assign responsibility for disciplinary action to the hearing officer or panel determining the charges and to the university's Student Conduct Services office. While the policies do not clearly enumerate the discipline options specifically for a sexual misconduct violation, those sanctions very likely include everything from a warning or a reprimand, to sensitivity training, counseling or mentoring, loss of privileges, no-contact orders, suspension, and expulsion. Students facing sexual misconduct charges at Colorado State University clearly have everything on the line.

Experienced Representation at Colorado State University

With so much at stake when facing college sexual misconduct charges, you need the representation of an aggressive and skilled academic attorney. National academic attorney Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of college and university students nationwide defend and defeat sexual misconduct charges. Preserve your education, career, and reputation against sexual and other misconduct allegations. Trust attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm to help you. Call 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation, or use the online service.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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