Title IX cases involve complaints from students involved in harassment, sexual misconduct, or stalking against other students. You are probably quite stressed out if you have been accused of any of these actions. A sexual misconduct complaint can lead to consequences that can affect your educational and professional lives. Because of this, you must work with an experienced Title IX lawyer before you speak with officials in your school, submit written documents, or provide your school with evidence.
Under the law, schools must investigate all assault or sexual misconduct cases that involve students or staff separately from other criminal charges. Schools should establish a structural system when they investigate any sexual misconduct claims. Their investigations must include interviewing witnesses, interrogating suspects, and holding disciplinary hearings. If you are facing a sexual Title IX due to sexual misconduct allegations at school, the following are steps you can take to protect yourself:
Hire a Licensed Lawyer
While the school may tell you that you do not need an attorney for the process, you can work with an attorney if you want. Remember that the school won’t advocate for you and may prefer that you appear in disciplinary hearings without representation. A skilled Title IX attorney will walk you through the case, so you can understand the complaint you are facing and your potential defences.
Keep Important Documents
Your school will give you a copy of the complaint paper and the applicable policies of the school. Keep such documents and turn them over to your attorney. Your attorney needs to be aware of these policies so that they can advise you appropriately. This way, they can enlighten you about what to expect from the case and describe your rights during the disciplinary process.
Any evidence you have access to, be it phone conversation or other physical evidence, must be given to your attorney. Also, consider jotting down some notes on what you can remember about the incident. Consider witnesses who may be able to support your response to the sexual assault allegations. Keep in mind that your school will put restrictions on what you can discuss with possible witnesses. You should not share any physical evidence you have with your school or anybody else until your lawyer has reviewed it. Evidence and documentation you can gather to support your case include photos, police reports, text messages, social media posts, medical reports, email, and others.