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A Crossfire of Title IX Claims at Rhodes College in Tennessee

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jun 05, 2019 | 0 Comments

Another college is being sued by a student who was expelled for allegedly sexually assaulting another student at a fraternity party. It is a sight that has become a common one in higher education, and one that brings to the forefront just how absurd the Title IX framework has become.

College Student Expelled, Sues School for Violating Title IX

This particular incident comes from Rhodes College, a small and highly-regarded liberal arts college in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee. There, two student athletes and members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity were accused of sexually assaulting a female student at a fraternity party.

The college conducted a Title IX investigation, decided that both young men did the deed, and expelled them on the eve of their graduation.

According to one accused student's attorney, though, the alleged victim never reported the assault, and never testified during the Title IX investigation. The strange result is that the timeline of events that Rhodes College has adopted as the truth is one that the school itself has created and one that was corroborated by none of the witnesses to the supposed assault.

One of the expelled students has now filed a Title IX lawsuit against the school, claiming that he was the one who was sexually discriminated against by the college's Title IX investigation.

Crossfire of Title IX Lawsuits Highlights a Confusing System

The sequence of events in this particular case has started to become the norm for Title IX allegations:

  • Female student accuses male student of sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX
  • College presumes guilt, conducts a sham Title IX investigation and hearing, and punishes the accused
  • Accused student files Title IX lawsuit against the college for sexual discrimination

More and more often, these Title IX lawsuits filed by the accused student and against the school have been winning in court after a judge finds that the school's Title IX investigation and process was, indeed, a sham.

One of the hallmark and legally binding cases to come from this recipe has been that colleges are legally required to allow an accused student to cross-examine their accuser – something that Rhodes College seems to have skipped.

Schools Walk a Tightrope

While it's a system where everyone loses, it is the school that gets left holding the bag. Colleges are being trapped between victims' advocates who demand the power to expel someone with the point of their finger, on the one hand, an accused student's due process rights, on the other hand, and with the federal government looking over one shoulder while threatening to withhold the school's funding, and the courts looking over the school's other shoulder to make sure the college doesn't just trample on the rights of the accused. No matter what the school does, they are going to be accused of sexual discrimination and will walk away from the fight with egg on their face.

National Title IX Advisor Joseph D. Lento

Joseph D. Lento is a national Title IX advisor who represents students accused of sexual misconduct and other Title IX violations. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686 for help.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the futures of his clients. Mr. Lento represents students and others in disciplinary cases and other proceedings at universities and colleges across the United States while concurrently fighting in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, and New Jersey. Mr. Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand universities and colleges across the United States. 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, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide.

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