University of Michigan Student Sexual Misconduct
The University of Michigan is one of the largest colleges in the state, with thousands of students matriculating each year. College students usually enjoy freedoms they did not have when they were minors. Unfortunately, though, when celebrating their liberty some University of Michigan students engage in behavior that ultimately leads to investigations and accusations of sexual misconduct. If the school concludes that a student engaged in sexual misconduct in violation of Title IX, it can cause permanent harm to their reputation and academic and professional career. As such, if you are a University of Michigan student accused of sexual wrongdoings, it is prudent to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a seasoned Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer with the skills and resources needed to handle University of Michigan student sexual misconduct allegations. If you engage his services, he will advocate zealously on your behalf.University of Michigan Student Sexual Misconduct Allegations
The University of Michigan recently revised how it responds to allegations of sexual misconduct. Under the new system, the Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office (ECRT) handles all reports of sexual misconduct, including allegations of sexual assault, which is the term used to define unwanted sexual touching or activity, and sexual harassment, which refers to physical or verbal advances that are sexual in nature. There is no time limit as to when a student can report sexual misconduct to the ECRT, and they can submit reports anonymously. If the alleged behavior that prompted the report constitutes a crime, they are also encouraged to contact law enforcement agents. Thus, in some instances, allegations of sexual misconduct can lead to criminal charges.Your Rights Following University of Michigan Student Sexual Misconduct Allegations
The University of Michigan adopted a policy for addressing sexual misconduct allegations that applies to students, faculty, staff, and third parties on the Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn campuses and Michigan Medicine. Each campus location has its own procedural guidelines for students.
After the ECRT receives a report of sexual misconduct, it will reach out to the complainant, who is the party that reported the harm. Depending on numerous factors, including the nature of the alleged misconduct, and the amount of information available, the ECRT will address the allegation. If the complainant decides to file a formal complaint, ECRT will inform the respondent, who is the party accused of sexual misconduct, of the complaint in writing.
Like criminal trials, the respondent is presumed not to be responsible for the alleged misconduct before the ECRT’s final determination. The respondent will only be found guilty of violating the school’s policy against sexual misconduct if their guilt is established by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the evidence must show that it is more likely than not true that they engaged in sexual misconduct. Allegations regarding the respondent’s behavior before or after the alleged misconduct cannot be used to prove the nature of their character. It can be used for other reasons, though, like showing a pattern or intent.
Notably, the respondent has the right to an advisor, which can be an attorney. While it is not necessary to be assisted by an attorney throughout the process, a lawyer is most likely better equipped to advocate on the respondent’s behalf and ensure that they do not unintentionally waive their rights. The respondent can request assistance and support from the University of Michigan as well, including academic and employment accommodations and contact restrictions.Speak to a Knowledgeable Ann Arbor Attorney Today
It is not uncommon for University of Michigan students to face accusations of sexual misconduct, placing them at risk for irreparable damage to their rights and reputation. If you are a college student accused of engaging in unwanted sexual behavior, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney regarding your rights. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a knowledgeable Ann Arbor criminal defense lawyer. He will assess the circumstances of your sexual misconduct case and fight for the best possible outcome. We have an office in Ann Arbor, and we represent parties in criminal matters and student sexual misconduct investigations throughout Michigan, including cities in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, East Lansing, and Lansing. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at (734) 883-9584 to set up a confidential and free consultation.