Today, many colleges and universities in compliance with Title IX are smack in the middle of a crossfire of survivor and respondent lawsuits. A large number of educational institutions also find themselves under investigation by the Department of Education for the mismanagement of sexual misconduct complaints. As these sum of these investigations and lawsuits continues to grow, administrators at these institutions are posing questions about the underlying issues in these processes, and attempting to pinpoint what exactly is going wrong. Administrators also instinctively question the validity of Title IX consultants, wondering why institutions spend large quantities of money for consultants who render their expertise and help design sexual misconduct procedures when the results are obviously subpar.
A large portion of that answer does point to inadequate consulting, and their lack of actual training in sexual misconduct situations. Consultants are expected to offer training for colleges and university on how to conduct proper investigations. But they can't do so effectively if they haven't actually practiced these methods in real life situations. What many people have discovered is that when it comes to the complex and intricate nature of sexual misconduct cases (which come in various forms), many Title IX consultants are ill-equipped.
Most Title IX consultants that work with school faculty have occupied positions beforehand that did not prepare them for their current job. Perhaps they handled workplace harassment cases that covered some of the basics of an in-depth investigation, but not completely. Maybe they worked on jobs that helped develop the “skills” they need to be a decent consultant, like being detail oriented, objective, empathetic or compassionate, but that don't quite help them understand how to properly investigate. The reality is, unless one worked as an actual criminal investigator to resolve these sensitive matters, one isn't truly fully prepared.
Why? There is a lot of work that goes into investigations of sexual misconduct investigations. For one, sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual violence and other forms of sexual misconduct should each be approached differently. Sexual assault investigations are among the most difficult investigations to consult, cause they require investigators to master not only forensic and psychological profiling skills, but also to channel empathy and having a vast understanding of how people who have endured trauma operate. These cases also require that investigators understand consent in its entirety, and the validity of a consent defense. All of these skills comprised contributes to the belief that many official investigators uphold - that sex crimes oftentimes present tougher challenges and hurdles than murder cases.
With this information in mind, accused students should understand that their school processes are flawed in ways that aren't easily corrected. In order for accused students to level the playing field, it is essential that they retain a skilled student defense attorney.
Student Defense Attorney Helping Clients Nationwide
National Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento has dedicated his entire career to helping students accused of sexual misconduct overcome their charges, and prevail in Title IX investigations, hearings, and appeals in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and nationwide. He can do the same for you. Contact him today for help.