May 15, 2023 | Title IX
If you have been accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault on a college campus or other school setting, Title IX might control the subsequent proceedings. Title IX protects individuals from discrimination on the basis of sex. However, the law has expanded to cover sexual misconduct.
The law applies to any education program that receives federal financial assistance. It covers students, staff, and faculty. Therefore, if someone accuses you of sexual misconduct or harassment on campus, you can face a disciplinary proceeding by the school.
Disciplinary proceedings can result in numerous penalties for the accused. Depending on the allegations and the outcome of the Title IX proceedings, the accused could face:
- Academic suspension
- Termination of employment
- Loss of scholarships and financial aid
- Restitution to the victim
- Mandatory counseling
In a criminal proceeding, the state has a high burden of proof to obtain a conviction for sexual misconduct. However, a person accused of sexual abuse or harassment under Title IX can be judged “guilty” under a much lower burden of proof.
What Is the Burden of Proof in Kentucky Title IX Cases?
In a criminal proceeding, the burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. The state must convince the jury there is no reasonable explanation for the evidence presented other than the defendant committed the crime. If one juror doubts the defendant’s guilt, the jury cannot return a guilty verdict.
However, in Title IX cases that go to civil court, the burden of proof is “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This level of proof is the lowest level of proof required in litigation.
Regarding any disciplinary proceedings at an educational institution, the burden of proof standard will be dictated by the school’s policy. In most instances it will also be “by a preponderance of the evidence” but it could also be “clear and convincing evidence,” which is a higher standard.
“By a preponderance of the evidence” means there is more than a 50% chance that the claim is true. In other words, the evidence proves there is a greater chance the person committed the offense than not.
Title IX cases have the potential for life-altering penalties. For that reason, it is essential that you consult an experienced Lexington Title IX defense attorney about your case. An experienced Title IX lawyer understands the burden of proof and how to build a defense strategy to refute the allegations against you.
The consequences of a Title IX violation could impact other areas of your life. You could be charged with a sex crime. A conviction of a sex crime could result in felony punishments and registration with the national sex offenders registry.
What Should I Do if I Am Accused of Title IX Violations at My School?
Do not discuss your case with anyone other than a lawyer. Posting on social media, talking with friends, or talking to the police could hurt your defense.
Instead, contact an experienced Lexington criminal defense lawyer. Even though the Title IX investigation and hearing by the school are not necessarily related to criminal charges, you need an experienced defense lawyer representing you during the Title IX proceedings.
Without legal counsel, you could receive an unfair outcome. The school might favor the accuser to err on the side of caution. Therefore, you could be facing a challenging and unfair fight.
A Lexington Title IX defense lawyer can help you by:
- Investing the allegations against you and gathering evidence for your defense
- Act as your representative with the school in all aspects of the case
- Ensure that your constitutional rights and other legal rights are protected throughout the process
- Defend you against any subsequent criminal charges that could arise from the Title IX allegations
- Advise you during every stage of the case
- Answer your Title IX questions
Before you decide how to proceed, talk with a lawyer about your case. You should not make any decisions until you understand your legal options for dealing with a Title IX complaint.
What Government Agency Enforces Title IX Disputes?
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is primarily responsible for enforcing Title IX regulations. The OCR is a division of the United States Department of Education. The OCR ensures that institutions that receive federal funding comply with the law.
Therefore, the OCR provides guidance to schools regarding the procedures they must follow when receiving a Title IX complaint. The OCR may conduct proactive investigations and resolve complaints of sex discrimination.
A Title IX Defense Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights
Because you are dealing with a government agency and your school, you will likely be under stress. Hiring a lawyer helps you handle the stress because your attorney handles the case. You might also want to seek counseling and professional help if you struggle with the allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct by another person at your school.
Contact the Lexington Title IX Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507