Colleges and Universities are under pressure from the Department of Education to close cases of sexual misconduct quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately for the accused, this can make schools cut time tables and even withhold evidence in order to close the case. There is so much at stake: from the short term physiological effects of suddenly being labeled a sexual predator, to the long term effects of suspension, expulsion, firing, and even criminal charges or jail time.
Being accused of sexual misconduct in Pennsylvania schools happens more often than most people realize because schools are pressured to handle cases that occur on or off campus. Students will suddenly find themselves swept up in a whirlwind of criminal terms from the moment allegations are filed: rape, assault, intimate partner violence, harassment and stalking. Though they will be facing criminal terms and charges, students accused of sexual assault are often not given the same procedural, evidentiary and constitutional rights as they would have with a criminal offense. The accused, or respondent, of the case will have even less rights than civil courts.
Unfortunately, the limited rights given to respondents in Title IX cases are all but nonexistent. With entire academic and career futures at stake, it is important to properly defend your case with the help of a skilled attorney who is well versed in school policies and Title IX procedures.