What if It’s Not True? What Happens When Students Make False Accusations About Sexual Assault?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | May 19, 2021 | 0 Comments

You'd have to be a hard-hearted person indeed to believe students who experience a sexual assault don't deserve justice. But what of the student or professor who is falsely accused? Don't they deserve justice as well? Filing a false report about sexual assault isn't a victimless crime. The accused face serious repercussions, even if they are ultimately cleared of the charges. Yet, in most cases, accusers aren't prosecuted at all or receive light sentences.

Sexual assault victims should be heard; we can all agree on that. Victims of false allegations should be heard as well.

What Sexual Assault Defendants Face

Make no mistake, if you're a defendant in a sexual assault case–even if you're innocent–your life will likely be turned upside down. At a minimum, you'll spend a significant amount of your time over several months responding to the allegations, participating in hearings, and gathering evidence for your defense. All of that takes time away from studies. Worse, though, the school might decide to suspend you altogether while they investigate. That can put scholarships, to say nothing of your academic progress, in jeopardy.

None of this takes into account the mental anguish you'll likely face. Even if you're innocent, you'll find yourself worrying about the very real possibility that you might be expelled or that the accusation will become public knowledge. And even if you are eventually found innocent, sexual assault allegations, especially in the digital age, can follow you for the rest of your life.

What False Accusers Face

In contrast to what defendants in these cases face, those who make false accusations face relatively little, if any, punishment for their crime. Most schools, for instance, don't address false accusations in their student codes of conduct. That means false accusers may face no academic repercussions.

In some instances, a false report might lead to minimal jail time, as it did in a recent case at Sacred Heart University, but more often, cases like this one are simply dropped, with no apology and no explanation.

You can also, of course, sue a student accuser for slander or libel, but you need absolute evidence of your innocence, not always easy to provide. And even if you should win such a suit, it can never replace the harm that was done to you by the original accusation.

Call Joseph D. Lento

No one should have to endure a false accusation of sexual assault. If you're a student or faculty member and have found yourself in this situation, you deserve to have a prizefighter in your corner. Call Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm. Joseph D. Lento specializes in student misconduct cases. He's an expert in Title IX law and, more importantly, an expert in navigating the bloated bureaucracy that's a hallmark of most colleges and universities. Joseph D. Lento will make sure you get all the due process rights you're entitled to, and he will fight hard to secure the very best possible outcome for your case.

For more information, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-555-3686, or use our automated online form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. 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, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the United States.


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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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