Sexual Assault on Campus
While no one would claim sexual invasion, aggression, violation, or assault is not a serious problem, I believe the procedures used in these proceedings are flawed and lack proper due process protections. Whatever you may think of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, I believe that in this case, the realities of a student accused of sexual assault are not what you would expect, and not the same as a non-student. In this case, we need to alter the regulations to protect students accused of sexual assault. The consequences of a finding by the school that a student is guilty of sexual assault are severe, and usually include expulsion from the school at a minimum. In addition, this finding will follow the student on a permanent record wherever he or she may go in life.
Realities of Sexual Assault on Campus and the Accused
Some facts: During the legal proceedings, students are not allowed to directly confront their accusers. Witnesses' identities are withheld until the moment they testify, leaving the accused with no opportunity to prepare a defense. Due process protections, such as confronting the witnesses against you, are restricted. The right to counsel is restricted too, and limited to counsel's presence outside the hearing, able only to feed cross-examination questions to the accused to ask of the witnesses. But in assault cases brought under Title IX, engaging counsel is nonetheless essential, perhaps more so because the deck is so heavily stacked in favor of the accusers.
To learn more about Title IX, what it is, and commonly asked questions, click the link here. I always tell my clients to know your rights, and always stay informed.
Please Contact me for more information on how you can protect yourself, and others that find themselves in this serious situation. I will be an advocate for you, stand in your corner, and provide you with the knowledge and experience that I have acquired through 35+ years of practicing sexual discrimination law in NYC and throughout Westchester and Long Island.