If you're a student athlete and face allegations of sexual misconduct in the form of a Title IX complaint, Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter might be able to help. We can advocate for your rights and provide the defense you need to prove your innocence. You should not take your future into your own hands by trying to handle the litigation yourself. Your best chance at fighting against these allegations is to seek legal representation.
Title IX hearings are often handled poorly. The school system wants to resolve the allegations quickly, giving the defendant inadequate time to prepare. You'll need an experienced and dedicated legal team on your side to guide you through the process. We understand what's at stake and how to prepare for the legal road ahead.
When you hire us, we can take on the responsibility of your case from start to finish. That includes investigating the circumstances of the alleged sexual misconduct, gathering evidence, and communicating on your behalf with the institution handling the claim. We will be diligent in building a solid case to prove you did nothing wrong and don't deserve to face any consequences.
Do not hesitate to contact Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 for an initial free consultation. One of our title IX defense claims lawyers can review the details of the complaint and determine the right strategy to reach a favorable outcome in your case.
What Is Title IX?
Title IX was passed in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments. It is a federal civil rights law protecting people in educational programs from discrimination based on sex and gender and sexual harassment. It applies to all institutions, including local and state educational agencies, receiving federal assistance from the Department of Education. Activities and programs in places like colleges and universities must not operate in a discriminatory manner.
Additionally, any person accused of misconduct under Title IX is prohibited from retaliating against the person who made the claim. That could include adverse treatment against the reporting individual, such as:
- Denying participation in athletics
- Decreasing the amount of time spent playing
- Changing to another position less desirable than the current one
- Expulsion or suspension from the program or the educational institution
- Harassment or other forms of misconduct during the program or while in class
Title IX defines consent depending on the specific college, university, or another type of school. It will likely involve affirmative consent. This means both parties must mutually agree to the sexual activity before participating in it.
Additionally, consent to engage in one sexual act does not necessarily mean one or both people consent to engage in another type of activity. Someone could also withdraw their consent at any time, even during the sexual conduct.
Attorney Watkins Can Help
Attorney Watkins cares about the clients he represents. You need and deserve someone who will fight for you. There are various strategies we could use against the allegations you're facing. The one we choose will depend on the circumstances of the sexual misconduct. Once you retain our services, we can request copies of all documentation associated with the case and determine how we should defend you.
The services Law Attorney Watkins offers are two-fold: we can assist you through the Title IX hearing and also defend you in criminal court. Typically, when a student accuses another of sexual assault, they file a complaint with the school and might press criminal charges. If that happens, we can represent you in both cases.
The educational institution is where Title IX claims are handled. Title IX claims are not criminal cases, and you don't face criminal penalties, such as fines or jail time. However, you could face expulsion, suspension, or another academic form of discipline. Athletes in this position could get cut from the team, preventing any hopes of continuing a career in their chosen sport.
There are many aspects of a Title IX case Attorney Watkins can help you with. We can:
- Review the allegations against you
- Understand the specific policies and processes the school has for handling sexual misconduct
- Walk you through the consequences you could face
- Advise you about the potential outcomes that could result from the complaint
- Prepare a thorough defense against the alleged conduct that took place, including investigating all details and obtaining evidence
- Explain the rights afforded to you under Title IX and your school's code of conduct
- Participate in investigations or hearings by your school, as long as we are permitted to do so
- Provide legal services and representation for the claim and criminal charges brought against you
- Advocate for your right to due process under the law
- Prepare for an appeal if necessary
The Title IX defense lawyers of Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter know you're facing an uncertain future. It can be highly stressful and overwhelming attending hearings and facing people who believe you're guilty. You can depend on our team to fight by your side until the very end.
Problems With Title IX Cases Involving Sexual Misconduct
Although Title IX claims and criminal charges are serious situations, there are significant differences between the two. The procedures are different for both, and the penalties you could face are drastically different. One could result in expulsion, while the other could lead to imprisonment. Additionally, each case comes with varying rules regarding the rights the defendant has and the evidence required to rule in favor of the victim.
Sexual misconduct cases on college campuses go through an administrative process. That means you're afforded fewer rights than you would have if you were to go to court during a criminal case. Educational institutions tend to lack concern about the rights of the accused. They're more worried about whether someone will sue them, whether it's you or the victim. They could also lose federal funding or face fines from the government. That typically results in a speedy administrative process to resolve the case and avoid any backlash.
Many athletes are innocent of the allegations made against them. However, colleges and universities take sexual misconduct claims seriously. They might not take into account the alleged perpetrator's rights. Instead, they want to investigate every complaint they receive and aggressively pursue a resolution for each. That could result in harsh punishments despite a lack of solid evidence.
The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution provide specific rights to individuals in the criminal justice system. That means you have a right to due process – the state cannot deprive you of life, liberty, or property without due process.
Due process is the fair treatment you should be given while facing allegations of sexual misconduct. “Innocent until proven guilty” doesn't seem to be something college administrators follow during Title IX hearings. They might decide that they believe the complaint before investigating the misconduct.
Another common problem during these hearings is bias. Members of the panel are supposed to remain unbiased while investigating complaints of sexual assault on campus. However, many people have preconceived notions about men involved in situations like this. More men than women face these allegations, and the panel members might go into the hearing deciding the person the complaint was filed against is guilty without thoroughly reviewing the evidence.