Title IX of the Education Amendments is a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination committed by and/or against students within federally funded higher education institutions. Some most colleges and universities in the county are funded to some extent by the federal government, the vast majority of these institutions are obligated to comply with Title IX regulations.
It's been determined in recent years that sexual misconduct - in all of its variations - is a form of gender discrimination. This means that actions that constitute sexual misconduct are a direct violation of Title IX, therefore must be adjudicated by institutions in accordance with current guidelines.
Non-consensual sex is one of the most common forms of sexual misconduct that coordinators are tasked with combating on college campuses. In the event that a complaint is filed alleging non-consensual sex, the listed accused student and accuser will undergo what's known as the Title IX process to ultimately come up with a finding. This process generally entails an investigation and sometimes a hearing where the school will determine, based on the evidence, if an accused student is “responsible” for this violation.
What is Non-Consensual Sex?
Non-consensual sex is sexual intercourse that occurs without the consent of a partner. It may also involve the threat of force, violence, or immediate and unlawful bodily injury, or the threat of retaliation. Overall, any sexual penetration, however slight, is sufficient enough to constitute non-consensual sex. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding an incident, non-consensual sex is always pervasive enough to create a hostile environment for a student and is classified as sexual misconduct.
The only way to rule out non-consensual sex in a complaint is to establish if there was consent. Consent must always be affirmative, which means that it must be conveyed through understandable words and actions. It must also be given for every individual intimate act that ensues between parties.
It's important to note that excessive intoxication and the consumption of drugs to the point of incapacitation can make consent ineffective. Incapacitation is defined as the physical and/or mental inability to make rational judgments. Once a student reaches this level of impairment, their ability to consent becomes null and void.
Throughout the Title IX process, accused students need to remember that they have due process rights. Although schools are expected to conduct fair and equitable processes, pressure from the Education Department, time restraints, and other factors could lead to an unfair process and result. This is why accused students need the assistance of an attorney advisor to ensure that the process stays equitable and that the school is held accountable if it deviates from federal rules.
Nationwide Title IX Advisor
The only way to make sure your voice is heard and your rights are upheld is to retain a student defense attorney. For respondents, especially, the assistance of an attorney advisor is invaluable in the Title IX process. National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has the skill, experience, and expertise to help you preserve your entitled rights under Title IX and your school's policy. For a case evaluation or more information about his representation, contact him online or give him a call at 888-535-3686 today.