Title IX Sexual Misconduct Attorney in Santa Cruz, California
According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 12,300 reported incidents of forcible sex offenses on campuses of post-secondary institutions across the United States in 2018. Accusations of non-consensual sexual encounters between students or between students and faculty - on or off campus - are even more common. In the state of California, tertiary institutions — including universities, colleges, and institutes — use Title IX hearings to investigate and remedy sex offense accusations involving students and faculty members on campus. In these Investigations, the person making the complaint is called the "Complainant" and the person being investigated is called the "Respondent".
If you are a student, university employee, or professor facing sexual misconduct accusations, consulting with a highly skilled and aggressive California criminal defense attorney is crucial for proper guidance. At the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, I am dedicated to seeking the truth and helping individuals in post-secondary institutions across California defend themselves against sexual misconduct accusations. As your legal counsel, I will investigate the circumstances surrounding your situation and advise/assist you through every phase of the Title IX proceedings.
My firm — the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki — proudly serves clients throughout Santa Cruz, California, as well as the surrounding areas of Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, and Berkeley.
Understanding Title IX
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that was enacted to protect people from discrimination based on sex in educational institutions that receive federal funding. The law 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 educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
The purpose of this federal civil rights law is to prohibit sex or gender discrimination among students, employees, and faculty members of educational institutions. Title IX law provides an effective approach to mitigate sexual harassment, discrimination, and violence in post-secondary institutions that receive federal funding. However, as an Administrative procedure, many of the rights and protections afforded a person accused of a crime are not available to Respondents in most campus Title IX Investigations.
Preparing for the Hearing
Title IX hearings are usually conducted on campus. The Title IX proceedings may be commenced anytime the institution's Title IX Office receives a sexual discrimination complaint by a student against another student or by a faculty member against a student. Such complaints may include sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, date rape, stalking, making sexually inappropriate comments, or other allegations of sexual misconduct.
Unfortunately, currently in most institutions, an attorney may not be allowed to represent you during your Title IX hearing. Notwithstanding, you don't have to face it alone. Title IX regulations permit the Respondent to have an advisor or advocate during the proceedings. This advisor or advocate can be an attorney. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you prepare for the hearing can assist you in pursuing the best available outcome.
The Title IX hearing process is as follows:
Title IX cases usually begin with an investigation by the campus Title IX Office, using an Investigator assigned to your case. The Investigator will review the Complainant's allegations against the Respondent, and seek evidence, including witness statements, social media history and photos, to see if the Complainant's allegations are true or not. The investigator will ask all parties - the Complainant, Respondent, and all witnesses - extensive and extremely personal questions about your relationship with and any complained-of sexual encounter with the Complainant. Typically, at the end of the Investigation, the campus Title IX Office will issue a report containing Preliminary Findings as to whether the allegations are true or not, and the Student Conduct Office will issue a proposed sanction based upon the Title IX findings. The Student Conduct Office proposed sanctions can involve anything from a reprimand up to a multi-year suspension or even dismissal/expulsion from the school.
Fact Finding Hearing
When the Respondent wishes to challenge the Title IX Office's Preliminary Findings and/or the Student Conduct Office's Proposed Sanction, the Respondent may request a Fact Finding Hearing. During these Hearings, a Hearing Officer will review the Investigation Report's preliminary findings, any additional evidence presented by the parties, as well as testimony from the Complainant, Respondent, and any relevant witness. The Hearing Officer will then make an independent determination of the truth of the Complainant's allegations and whether the Respondent acted against the institution’s Title IX Policy or code of student conduct.
If the allegations are found to be true, the Respondent could be facing multiple sanctions, including suspension, exclusion from campus, or even expulsion from the school and other consequences. If the allegations are found to be "not true", the Complaint may be dismissed.
Either party can appeal the decision of the hearing officer. A panel comprised of faculty members - or even a single designated Appeal Officer - will review the Investigation and Fact Finding Hearing evidence, and determine whether the Hearing Officer's findings are supported by the evidence and school policies. The
Appeal Officer's decision will be final.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help
Campus sexual misconduct complaints are serious and can jeopardize every aspect of your life, including your reputation, career, future opportunities. With everything on the line, having an experienced, knowledgeable and aggressive advisor on your side is crucial. You need to consult with a knowledgeable Title IX attorney to intervene on your behalf immediately.
At the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki, I have the experience and resources to assist individuals at the center of a Title IX investigation. As your advisor, I will educate you about your present situation, conduct an in-depth, private investigation, and be present to advise you during any interview by the Title IX Office. Using my legal understanding and skills, I will advise and assist you through every step of the Title IX proceedings and prep you intensively for your hearing. I can offer you the detailed legal guidance and reliable advocacy you need to seek a fair resolution in your Title IX proceedings.
Title IX Sexual Misconduct Attorney Serving Santa Cruz, California
If you're facing sexual misconduct accusations on campus, you need help. Contact my firm — the Law Offices of Andrew C. Janecki — for a consultation. I can offer the legal assistance and advocacy you need for your Title IX hearing. I proudly serve student or faculty members across Santa Cruz, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Francisco, and Berkeley, California.