St. Louis Defense Attorneys for Title IX Sexual Harassment
Have You Been Accused Under Title IX? You Need an Experienced Legal Team on Your Side.
As historically male institutions, universities have at times failed to provide equal opportunities to women. Congress addressed this issue in 1972 with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act. Though we all agree women should have the right to attend classes, participate in sports and extracurriculars, and benefit from all programs a university offers, the amendment is also interpreted as an enforcement matter in cases of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.
Since 2011, when the federal government warned publicly-funded schools of their duty to stop these behaviors, many students have claimed they were wrongfully accused. Some have already received settlements or jury verdicts in their favor. These students are nearly all, if not all, men—suggesting that when Title IX is misused, it may actually cause another form of gender discrimination.
If you are accused of sexual harassment under Title IX, you may find yourself facing an opaque investigation that affords you few rights. Despite this, your school has the ability to discipline students found guilty with measures up to and including expulsion. Your education should not be disrupted by an unfair decision that is biased toward the accuser. Our attorneys are here to advocate for you and ensure you understand your rights.
Call our Title IX sexual harassment attorneys at (314) 334-3807 or contact us online. We’ve been defending people’s rights in St. Louis for over 30 years.
Sexual Harassment Under Title IX
What counts as sexual harassment? This question has been asked across multiple industries, in schools, and among the leaders of organizations after accusations have surfaced. Especially with the movement centered around holding assault victims responsible, more stories of harassment have been shared in recent years. However, harassment isn’t just one off-color joke. It has a legal definition, and where it is not met, an accuser has no standing to take action—even if they felt uncomfortable.
Sexual harassment, as defined by Title IX, is:
- Unwanted sexual conduct (advances, requests, or physical conduct)
- Continual, serious, and difficult to avoid to the point it affects the accuser’s college experience
Many accusations can be challenged on one of these points—but to make an argument, you must first know what the accusation entails.
The Title IX Investigation Process Is Unfair
As with any system, you may expect a few false positives resulting from Title IX accusations, and assume these discrete events can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In the current system, there seems to be a trend of ‘guilty’ decisions facing challenges. United Educators looked at all Title IX complaints made in 2015 and found that 1 in 4 was challenged by the student who was found guilty. Some chose to make their complaints through the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), which handles Title IX reports. Others have taken their schools to court alleging an unfair process led to wrongful punishment.
Because Title IX complaints are investigated within schools rather than decided by our justice system, there is no universal process for these complaints. Schools can conduct each case as they see fit. Many times, this results in an unfair situation in which the accused cannot:
- See the evidence
- Question witnesses, or even know their identities
- Question the complainant
- See the investigative report
These restrictions are a clear violation of due process and are likely to result in incorrect decisions by the school’s Title IX representative/panel.
Support Against Title IX Accusations
With the deck already stacked against you as it is in Title IX cases, you must constantly assert your rights and advocate for yourself. This is easier with an experienced attorney on your team. Having handled many Title IX cases, we know how the process can work against you—and where we need to step in to make sure both you and the accuser are given a fair hearing.
Facing a Title IX complaint can be intimidating, especially if you’ve seen people face harsh punishments on thin evidentiary grounds. The school does not guarantee you a representative to help with a complaint, but the good news is, you are allowed one. Reach out to our team for a free consultation if you’ve been unfairly accused. We are here to protect the rights of defendants, whether in front of a judge or a Title IX representative.
Call (314) 334-3807 to reach our St. Louis Title IX defense attorneys. We can help you face unfair charges.