If you or a loved one is facing an accusation of sexual misconduct pursuant to Title IX, then it’s reasonable to be concerned about the outcome — a Title IX case can lead to significant academic penalties (such as expulsion, suspension, and/or mandatory counseling) and if a guilty verdict is reached, then the accused student may be labeled as a sex offender, a stigma that could have a negative impact on their ability to integrate into normal society and even secure a thriving career into the future.
Confused about the accusations and what comes next? Contact a Title 9 attorney here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC for guidance.
Given the high-stakes nature of a Title IX case, it’s critical that you explore all possible defense strategies that will increase the likelihood that you avoid a “loss” before the tribunal. Let’s briefly consider some common strategies that can be useful in a Title IX dispute.
Obtain Supportive Witness Testimony
Supportive witness testimony is fundamentally important in a Title IX dispute. Eyewitness testimony can ensure that your version of events is given the legitimacy it needs to win out over the complainant’s. Further, positive character testimony can help to strengthen your case as the accused.
Undermine Legitimacy of Complainant
Though many complainants pursue Title IX allegations for legitimate reasons, others concoct stories in an attempt to “ruin” the life of a former boyfriend, or to otherwise punish students they don’t like. Evidence that undermines the legitimacy of the complainant is valuable. If you can show that the complainant has accused (without evidence) other students of sexual misconduct in the past, then that would likely undermine their position in the present prosecution.
Secure Conflicting Evidence on Social Media
Social media posts can provide ample evidence that conflicts with the complainant’s narrative of events. As such, it’s worth investigating social media accounts to secure evidence that clashes with their asserted narrative. For example, if the complainant claims that they were subject to sexual misconduct on a particular day/date, but you have proof through social media that they were out-of-state with their family, then you can introduce such evidence to counter the complainant.
Negotiate with the School or Complainant
If you can formulate a reasonably strong defense early on, then you may be able to avoid the hassle of the Title IX investigation and prosecution by negotiating a resolution with the school or the complainant directly. In cases where they sense that the dispute might not lead to a favorable verdict for then complainant, they may be willing to drop the case, allowing you to avoid the hassle, publicity, and uncertainty of a proper Title IX dispute.
Contact Harvey & Binnall, PLLC for Title IX Defense Guidance
Here at Harvey & Binnall, PLLC, our team of attorneys has decades of experience defending clients in a range of disputes, including those that center around Title IX allegations. We understand the unique challenges posed by a Title IX case, and how to navigate the complex procedural roadblocks effectively so as to maximize the likelihood that you avoid a negative response.
We are committed to close collaborative engagement with our clients. Client-centered advocacy is particularly useful in the Title IX context, where the particularities of a case can spell the difference between a win and a loss.
Ready to speak with an experienced Title 9 attorney at our firm? Call us at 703-888-1943 or complete an intake form online to request a consultation today.