Sexual harassment cases and lawsuits are becoming more and more common. Just turn on the…
In recent months, sexual assault and harassment accusations at college campuses and universities have been booming in the face of the #MeToo movement. But are colleges and universities taking care of sexual assault claims properly? Are campus rape policies following Title IX regulations?
Even before the biggest sexual misconduct scandal in U.S. history started making headlines in October, weeks prior the very first accusations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, the U.S. was torn over Obama-era campus sexual assault guidance.
Although the Trump administration has since overturned Obama-era guidance on the subject, citing concerns over due process for the accused perpetrators, have campus rape policies in Los Angeles colleges and universities been affected in any way?
Our Los Angeles Title IX defense attorneys at Law Offices of Kristensen LLP says that while the amended policies have made the process fairer for the accused, there are still a few things to consider when trying to prove yourself innocent in an IX violation claim on campus.
In the Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter, there was the lowest possible burden of proof, which required only a 50% likelihood of guilty in order to find the accused guilty of the accused sexual assault, gender discrimination, harassment or other Title IX violations.
Furthermore, there were severe restrictions – and in many higher education institutions, still are – regarding the ability of the accused perpetrator to question the claims of the accuser. The rationale behind the restrictions was that questioning of the allegations could inflict trauma on the accuser or intimidate the victim.
In the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, colleges and universities are taking any sexual assault, rape, harassment, sex violence, gender discrimination, misconduct claims seriously, even when they come from a third party and even when the alleged survivor of sexual assault refuses to cooperate.
Furthermore, our best Title IX defense attorneys in Los Angeles point out that the system is terribly flawed due to the schools being required to investigate all reports in connection with sexual misconduct as opposed to letting law enforcement investigate them.
This requirement, under which schools had to appoint full-time Title IX coordinators, opened the door for the accused to bribe or influence the coordinators in any other way to make sure the investigation is concluded in their favor.
Law enforcement officials and police officers who would investigate those cases, meanwhile, would be less likely to be influenced or bribed. Also, letting a Title IX coordinator handle sexual assault and harassment cases creates a risk of victims being connected or related in any way to the coordinators, which would result in a biased investigation.
And given that most such coordinators would be a faculty or staff member, who already had a variety of other duties on campus, much sexual assault and harassment-related investigations weren’t conducted properly or given enough time and attention on the part of coordinators.
In fact, most colleges and universities failed to comply with IX regulations and failed to investigate sexual misconduct claims in a timely manner. It was reported back in 2016 that the average investigation had been open for 963 days, up from an average of 289 days in 2010.
Sexual assault and rape claims on campuses in Los Angeles are a serious and sensitive matter that requires a thorough and fair investigation. More often than not, the accused are not being provided with a fair investigation by neither schools or their IX coordinators.
That’s why it’s vital to be legally represented by a Los Angeles Title IX defense attorney in order to prevent the accuser, your university or college, and, in many cases, its incompetent and biased coordinators from ruining your life and conducting an unfair investigation.
Don’t let them shatter your life into the piece with wrong or far-fetched accusations at the time when sexual assault and harassment claims keep piling up all across the country, but most notably on campuses.
Speaking to a Title IX defense lawyer at Law Offices of Kristensen LLP is your best line of defense. Call our Los Angeles offices at 310-984-1297 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.