Title IX Sexual Harassment Investigations
Title IX refers to the sexual harassment statute that has been adopted by educational institutions throughout the U.S. Originally conceived in the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX states that: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
As a result of this statute, the federal government has mandated a series of steps for investigating claims of sexual harassment regarding college students enrolled in colleges all across the U.S. After all, regardless of whether your school is public or private, for-profit or not, it is likely receiving some form of federal assistance. Given that, most institutions follow the same general process when investigating claims of sexual assault.
The Title IX Investigation Process
After the Title IX Office has received a complaint, they will get in touch with both the Complainant and the Respondent. Both parties will receive the following:
- The allegations being investigated
- What policy was violated
- The investigator’s name
- The rights of both parties
- A written warning against retaliation
- Any other applicable information
Next, the investigator gathers information about the case, amassing evidence from a variety of different sources, including electronic and written communication, audio or video recordings, as well as interviews with both parties and any witnesses.
After gathering this information, the investigator will present it to both the Complainant and the Respondent, who will have the chance to dispute or respond to it. This will also be logged by the investigator.
Once both parties have had the chance to review and respond to all of the relevant information, the investigator will assess the evidence, deciding whether there is a preponderance of evidence in support of the Complainant (meaning it is more likely than not that sexual harassment occurred). This assessment — along with all of the information gathered and the rationale supporting this assessment — is written in an official report, along with the investigator’s final determination.
Finally, both parties are notified of the outcome of the investigation in an official communication from the Title IX Office. If it is determined that a Title IX policy has been violated, the notification may also contain further information regarding the next steps in the process.
How Legal Counsel Can Help
Whether you have been accused of a Title IX offense, or believe you have been sexually harassed at a college or university, the experienced legal team at The Bellinger Law Office are happy to speak with you. Mr. Bellinger has years of experience amassing evidence for various cases — including those related to criminal defense — and understands both Title IX law and campus policy regarding these situations. Beyond just this, an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights under the law, giving you a better shot at a favorable outcome. You can reach us by calling our office, or by leaving your contact information on our website: we’ll be in touch as soon as possible, and can schedule a time to discuss your situation.