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Possible Criminal Charges
As the allegations of a Title IX charge are also criminal acts (rape, GSI, sexual battery), those facing Title IX defense 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
Do I Need An Attorney to Represent Me in a Title IX Defense Case
Yes! If you want to seriously and effectively defend a Title IX claim of sexual assault or misconduct you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney should defend you by:
- Most importantly, cross-examining the Complainant at the hearing. A skilled criminal defense attorney will provide you with the most effective cross-examination.
- Ensuring that the appropriate process is followed.
- Guide you as to how to handle each step of the process.
- Help you prepare for the hearings and meetings.
- Assist in locating witnesses or evidence favorable to you.
Can I Appeal
Technically, a student can appeal the decision of the Hearing Panel. However, the grounds for appeal are generally limited to procedural error. As a result very few findings are ever overturned.
What If I am Found to be In Violation (Guilty)
A student who is found to be guilty of sexual assault or rape will almost always be permanently expelled from the University. Further, his academic transcript will indicate that he was expelled for a Title IX violation, and it is highly unlikely that he will ever graduate from a college or university in the United States.
What are the Steps in the Title IX Defense Process
- An Informational Meeting is Scheduled: After you are notified of the claim there will be an informational meeting scheduled. The point of this meeting is to tell you about the process.
- An Investigation is Conducted: One or two Investigators will be assigned to your case. They will conduct interviews with the Complainant (accuser), Respondent (accused), and identified witnesses. They will also collect any evidence that may be available: commonly this consists of text messages, phone records, receipts, photographs and video or audio recordings.
- A Report is Issued: At the conclusion of the investigation a report is issued to both parties. The report describes what both the Respondent and Complainant stated in their interviews as well as the statements of the witnesses. Along with the written report the collected evidence is made available to the parties for inspection.
- A Hearing is Held: At least 10 days after the final report is issued by the Investigators, a hearing is held. At the hearing the Complainant makes a statement and then is questioned by the hearing panel (judges). The Complainant is also subject to cross-examination by the Respondent’s Advisor or Attorney. THIS IS THE MOST CRITICAL PART OF THE HEARING. The Respondent is also afforded an opportunity to tell his side of the story and is subject to questions. Finally, the witnesses provide their information and are subject to questioning.
- Hearing Panel Issues a Decision: About a week after the hearing, the Hearing Panel (judges) issues a written decision. The decision reviews the testimony and evidence presented and then either finds the Respondent “In Violation” or “Not in Violation.” If the Respondent is found Not in Violation, pending the outcome of an appeal, the matter is over and the Respondent is not subject to any sanctions or punishments.
What if the Police Want to Speak with Me
If the Complainant makes her report to law enforcement or university police, often an officer will attempt to make contact with the accused or Respondent for an “interview.” The Officer will say that he is “just looking to clear things up,” or “ask for help in resolving a matter.” This is not what the officer really wants. He wants to interview you in order to get a confession or have you make statements that can be used against you. If confronted by law enforcement, decline to participate or simply say “I want a lawyer” and then call Andrew H. Stevenson.
What Should I do If I Am Notified of a Claim of Sexual Misconduct
DO NOT TALK TO ANYONE and contact Andrew H. Stevenson immediately. Do not speak with your friends or roommate about this, do not call the accuser, do not text or talk with anyone until you have spoken with me.
How is the Respondent Notified
Ohio University notifies students of the existence of the claim by email.
How Are the Parties Identified
The person making the accusation is referred to as the COMPLAINANT.
The person who is accused of wrongdoing is referred to as the RESPONDENT.
How is a Claim Made
The process begins with an alleged victim filing a claim with either the university or law enforcement. At Ohio University a student who believes they were sexually assaulted can simply fill out a form online or report it to Ohio University Police. Additionally, if a person tells a mandatory reporter, such as an RA, the mandatory reporter will file the formal complaint with the university.
Why is it Called Title IX
All claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, stalking or gender based discrimination between students and or faculty must be addressed by a university or college. Not every claim is technically a Title IX action, some actions proceed as a violation of the Code of Student Conduct. Regardless, the process for resolving the claim is the same. This process is commonly called “Title IX” because of the federal regulations which state no person based on their sex shall be denied the benefits of an education program that receives federal financial assistance. Although initially designed to address female athletics, the umbrella has been expanded to include sexual assault under the theory that those who are sexually assaulted are being denied an equal opportunity to participate in the educational experience.
What Is Title IX
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 the phrase “Title IX” is commonly used to describe the administrative process that colleges or universities use to address sexual assault claims.
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About Andrew H. Stevenson
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