Keffer Hirschauer LLP published an article titled, “There is help for students or faculty charged with Title IX” in the IndyStar on February 12, 2020. The article details the consequences of being subject to a Title IX hearing, how these types of proceedings compare to other legal procedures, and how you can defend yourself against violation allegations.
Title IX is a federal civil rights law, which forbids sex discrimination in any educational program and activity that is federally funded and applies to high schools, colleges and universities, as well as graduate schools. In recent decades, this law has been applied when students experience sexual assault and/or harassment.
In order to maintain federal funding, schools must stop such hostility and prevent its reoccurrence. Not only does Title IX apply to students, but professors, faculty members, and other types of school employees are subject to this law.
As soon as allegations are made against someone, he/she may be subject to “interim measures” to prevent him/her from attending classes, such as restraining orders and even expulsion or termination from the school. Even if the accuser is ultimately found innocent, such measures can have a significantly negative impact on the person’s life.
“The penalties can range from anywhere from an order of no-contact between the accused and accuser up to expulsion and denial of diploma,” Attorney Bradley Keffer, managing partner of our firm, said to the IndyStar. “Faculty members and university contractors can be terminated.”
Unlike the criminal justice system, a Title IX ruling is based on a “preponderance of the evidence,” rather than finding guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.” In other words, the institution must only show that it is “more likely than not” that the person violated the school’s Title IX policy, which is a lower standard of evidence in comparison to criminal trials.
“Some people will mistakenly refer to a preponderance of evidence as 51% of the evidence, but even this is inaccurate,” Attorney Keffer said. “A more accurate illustration would be that if you took all the facts and inferences that favored an accuser and then took all the facts and inferences that favored an accused, and put them on a scale, and the scale tipped even slightly in favor of one party; that would be the preponderance of evidence.”
When facing accusations of campus-related sexual assault, it is imperative to hire an experienced Title IX attorney with legal experience in Title IX administrative hearings. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our legal team focuses on Title IX proceedings and can help navigate the legal process, no matter which Indiana institution it involves.
If you have been accused of a Title IX violation in Indianapolis or somewhere in the state of Indiana, contact us today at (317) 857-0160 and schedule a free initial consultation.