Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
When students are falsely accused of sexual assault, the consequences can be far-reaching. Some may think this is a victimless crime, but it’s far from that. The lives of the accused and his or her family go “on hold” until the truth is uncovered. The risk of going to prison is one of many life-changing effects. So much is in jeopardy—freedom, education, career plans, and dreams are at grave risk. Colleges and universities can deny scholarships and lodge arbitrary disciplinary actions in violation of a student’s due process.
In recent cases of fraudulent sexual assault allegations, students have faced severe adverse consequences depriving them of constitutionally guaranteed rights. With the right legal representation, everyone responsible should be held accountable, and you and your son or daughter should receive financial compensation to mitigate your losses.
If you or a loved one have been falsely accused of sexual assault at a college or university, you should seek a consultation with an experienced attorney. Andrew Shubin has a strong track record in defending students against abusive practices in disciplinary proceedings. To schedule a consultation, call (814) 867-3115.
Overview of College Fraudulent Sexual Assault Allegation Laws
When a student is accused of sexual assault, colleges and universities that receive federal funding must investigate and take measures in compliance with Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. Unfortunately, some college officials can overreach and engage in constitutional violations throughout the process of complying with Title IX. However, Title IX investigations are not a license to trample on students’ constitutional rights. No student should be expelled or dismissed without an opportunity to defend him- or herself against sexual assault accusations.
Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, students can sue academic institutions for civil rights violations. Regardless of the educational institution’s code of conduct or the reasons school officials give for their actions, an attorney can review a situation and determine if there are causes of action that can be pursued for unconstitutional measures taken against the student. In the seminal case Goss v. Lopes (1975), the Supreme Court ruled that there are property and liberty interests at stake in education. Consequently, students have the right to receive a notice and a hearing of the charges.
Title IX doesn’t give college and university officials authority to act in violation of constitutionally guaranteed rights. Since universities don’t have to extend constitutional guarantees the same way that courts or the police are required to, there is a greater likelihood of vast constitutional right deprivations—especially if an unproven allegation is used as a basis to expel a student. The school officials don’t even have to wait for the police to complete their investigation or for a criminal trial to conclude before the school can expel, suspend, or dismiss a student.
Suing for False Assault Allegations at a College or University
Civil liability refers to the causes of action that can be pursued based on tort law violations for the false statements or defamation against a student falsely accused of sexual assault. Most states recognize that there is a viable cause of action for “defamation per se” by a fraudulent accusation of engaging in illegal sex acts. States have different definitions of the sexual acts at issue. Depending on the nature of the accusations, an attorney can guide you as to the potential causes of action based on the harmful impact of the lies on the student’s life or the life of close family members.
You can sue the author of the lies as well as the people who spread the lie if they are either knowingly or recklessly ignoring the truth. In the case of students, some may not have reached the majority age; there may be causes of action against the parents or guardians based on what is known as “parental liability,” the legal responsibility that can be imposed on parents when their sons or daughter’s negligent acts are intentional. False accusations of sexual assault are generally considered intentional torts. When you talk to a qualified attorney, you can review the possible causes of actions available.
Early Intervention Can Make a Difference
Colleges have a broad ability to conduct their investigations independent of any police inquiry. Students are not always given an opportunity to examine the statements, reports, and other evidence officials obtain as part of a Title IX sexual assault investigation. This lack of access to information and opportunities to refute statements puts students accused of sexual assault in a uniquely vulnerable position. Proactive legal representation can make a difference in preventing severe and arbitrary decisions against the student at an academic level.
Also, in recent instances the authorities have become involved in Title IX investigations of sexual assault, and there have been convictions for false reporting against students who lodged the false accusation. Exculpatory information obtained early on can be helpful in challenging the actions of the college and assisting the police investigation. The authorities will make the ultimate determination regarding filing criminal charges for false reporting.
In a recent case of false sexual assault accusations against Sacred Heart students, complicated issues came to light because there was a consensual relationship in the background; there were also omissions, misrepresentations, and conflicting accounts of the incident. Uncovering lies as early as possible can make all the difference in the impact of false sexual assault allegations against college students.
Call A Trustworthy Attorney for Fraudulent Sexual Assault Allegations of College Students
Call the law office of attorney Andrew Shubin for a free and private consultation. Andrew Shubin recognizes the pain and stress that families experience when their son or daughter is falsely accused of sexual assault. He has worked with hundreds of students who have faced adverse college or university decisions for no apparent reason. To schedule an appointment, call (814) 867-3115.