Getting Solid Defense When Facing A Title IX Violation Investigation
What is a Title IX violation? It is when one person on a college campus (typically a public university) alleges that another person sexually discriminated against them, harassed them or sexually assaulted them.
Former Tampa prosecutor Steven Wetter Attorney at Law, P.A., has insider information on how the legal system works. He also knows what it takes to procure a solid defense in these cases. Call 239-347-9133 to set up a free consultation. Find out how attorney Steve Wetter can help you. Phones are answered every day at all hours.
What Is The Purpose Of Title IX ?
Passed in 1972, Title IX is a federal civil rights law. All public universities receive federal funding. This means they are all subject to Title IX enforcement. On its face, the mission of Title IX is to protect against sex discrimination. Both university students and professors can be subject to Title IX, usually under the auspices of the conduct code. Colleges and universities that are not Title IX compliant stand to lose millions in funding if they are found to be “noncompliant.”
What Is At Stake?
A mere accusation, even if baseless or unfounded, can damage a student’s standing, reputation and opportunities. Depending on the nature of the accusation, criminal charges may also be brought. For professors, an accusation can negatively impact employment and tenure, so it is crucial to secure legal representation as early on as possible. A professor’s behavior may fall under Title IX if the accusation is in any way related to gender discrimination.
While it is in the school’s best interest to work with an advisor, it is not in the best interest of the person accused (referred to as the respondent) to do so. The advisor’s role is to protect the school, not the accused, even if the accused is employed by the school, such as a professor. A student is at risk of losing their internship, job, sports eligibility, ability to transfer or attend graduate school, and the opportunity to serve in the military as an officer.
What Is Considered Sexual Misconduct?
Many actions can fall into this category, including sexual touching, groping and rape. But other actions that may happen in a group setting and are far less egregious may also be considered sexual misconduct. For example, “nonconsensual sexual contact” may mean kissing someone at midnight on New Year’s Eve without having their express consent beforehand. If a person is convicted of this type of “indecent assault,” they may also face implications under Megan’s Law and may have to register as a sex offender.
Do I Need An Attorney?
The law does not require you to have an attorney. Title IX laws do not require the accuser to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but only a preponderance of evidence (sometimes called 50% and a feather). However, given the magnitude of what is at stake, it is strongly advised that the accused work with a proven criminal defense attorney who also handles Title IX concerns. Attorney Steven Wetter has extensive criminal defense and Title IX experience. He can advise you on Title IX laws as well as any academic disciplinary issues.