What Should You Do If You Are Accused Of Sexual Misconduct On A College Campus?

If you have been accused of sexual misconduct on campus against another college student or staff member, there are some important steps you need to take. A charge of sexual assault comes with grave consequences, including suspension or expulsion from school, and possibly time in jail if you are found guilty. All colleges must investigate claims of sexual assault or misconduct committed against others on campus, so you need to get your affairs in order to fight the claim. Here are some things you need to do:

What Acts Constitute Sexual Misconduct on Campus?

Sexual misconduct is an umbrella term that covers all forms of sexual violence. Sexual misconduct is any act that utilizes control, intimidation, or power against another person in a sexual manner that is not consensual. Some examples of sexual misconduct include sexual harassment, non-consensual sex acts, dating violence, and stalking.

What Should You Do if You Are Accused of Sexual Misconduct on Campus?

If you have been accused of sexual misconduct, you need to contact a campus sexual abuse lawyer. You need an attorney who handles Title IX cases, which cover sexual misconduct. If the school says you do not need an attorney, it is advisable to have one on retainer anyway. The school will not serve as your advocate.

Once you get an attorney, they will explain the complaint made against you and advise you on how to proceed to defend yourself. Even if the school is handling the complaint without involving the police, you may still face charges if certain evidence against you is found to be credible.

The school will have you attend meetings to begin the investigation and possible disciplinary process. Do not attend any meetings with school officials without your attorney present. If nothing else, your attorney can be there to gather information. Your attorney may also record any communication that may be helpful to your case.

What Evidence Do You Need?

To properly defend yourself, you need evidence. The school will provide you with a copy of the complaint against you. Keep this information along with a copy of your school's rules and guidelines regarding sexual misconduct on campus or against students and staff.

If you have any correspondence with the person accusing you of sexual misconduct, provide it to your attorney. This can include texts, emails, and voicemails. Social media correspondence is also useful. Other forms of important evidence include camera footage from surveillance cameras, witnesses, pictures, and medical reports.