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Title IX Defense Hearings in Athens, OH
Passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX has become the federal law which governs how colleges and educational institutions handle allegations of gender discrimination and sexual misconduct. However, in cases of claims of sexual assault between students it is commonly used to describe the administrative process that colleges or universities use to address these claims.
According to the Educational Amendments of 1972, Title IX is a federal law that states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
While we can probably all agree that the original intention of Title IX was positive and beneficial to college campuses as a whole, revisions made in later years pose more of an issue. Specifically, in 2011 the law was changed to say that students could be convicted of sexual assault violations under the preponderance of the evidence standard. This means that they can be convicted if they simply appear to be “more guilty than not.”
If you or your child has been notified that they are being accused of a Title IX violation it is important to contact Andrew H. Stevenson promptly. I use my more than 25 years of criminal defense experience to help my clients successfully navigate the University process while simultaneously protecting their rights. By applying the concepts and ideas I have learned in criminal defense work, I am able to help my clients prevail at the hearing and continue their educational experience.
Examples of Title IX “offenses” include:
- Non-consensual intercourse
- Intercourse with an incapacitated person
- Sexual harassment
- Sexual assault
- Relationship violence
How Title IX Defense Cases Differ from Criminal Charges
- Burden Of Proof: Title IX defense cases are administrative in nature, and, as a result, they do not afford the same protection or rights as do criminal trials. The burden of proof is much lower in a Title IX defense case. The Complainant need only convince the Hearing Panel by a preponderance of evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Advisor’s Role: Both the Complainant and the Respondent in a Title IX defense are required to have an “Advisor” to assist them. However, the role of the advisor is limited to cross-examination of witnesses at the hearing. Advisors do not make opening statements, cannot make objections, etc. Due to the emphasis placed on cross-examination, it is highly recommended that your Advisor be an experienced criminal defense attorney trained in effective cross-examination.
- Required to Testify: Ohio University requires that both the Complainant (accuser) and Respondent (accused) provide testimony at the hearing. The 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination does not apply in Title IX defense hearings. Therefore, properly preparing a Respondent to testify is crucial to a successful outcome.
- Evidentiary Rule: The rules governing Title IX defense hearings are different than the rules of a courtroom. The rules of evidence, procedure, and definitions are different. It is important to have an experienced Title IX defense attorney by your side.
- Consequences: Whereas prison may be the most significant consequence of a criminal case, being found In Violation of a Title IX claim is not without significant consequence. Most likely, if you are found guilty, you will be permanently expelled from the university and never graduate from any college or university in the United States.
Possible Criminal Charges
As the allegations of a Title IX charge are also criminal acts (rape, GSI, sexual battery), those facing Title IX charges may also be in danger of being charged in criminal court as well. I am able to assist in these instances. Cases where a client is simultaneously facing a Title IX charge from Ohio University as well as under investigation by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office require extreme planning, preparation and experience. In these cases, it is most important to secure the representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Take steps now to ensure a fair process and best defense by working with an experienced Ohio defense attorney, Andrew H. Stevenson. I have represented many clients in Title IX defense matters, criminal investigations, and serious criminal cases. Call me to discuss how best to proceed to protect your reputation and future.
Contact Andrew H. Stevenson today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn more about the process. (740) 483-0690
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