Title IX and Criminal Cases

The Intersection of Title IX and Criminal Law: What You Need to Know

Facing allegations under Title IX can be a daunting experience, especially when these allegations also have potential criminal implications.

At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, our award-winning trial lawyers provide comprehensive support to students, faculty, and staff facing Title IX allegations that create exposure to criminal charges and put serious potential penalties on the table.

If you’re under investigation or facing an allegation under your educational institution’s Title IX process, knowing how the process may intersect with a criminal case is crucial.

Understanding Title IX

Title IX is a federal civil rights law enacted as part of the Education Amendments of 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

While Title IX is broadly associated with promoting gender equity in education, it also addresses issues such as sexual harassment and assault, ensuring that educational institutions provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students.

The Scope of Title IX Investigations

When a Title IX complaint is filed, the educational institution is obligated to investigate the allegations. The Title IX investigation process typically includes:

  • Filing a Complaint: The complainant submits a formal complaint to the Title IX coordinator.
  • Initial Assessment: The institution assesses the complaint to determine if it falls under Title IX.
  • Investigation: An impartial investigator gathers evidence, interviews witnesses, and compiles a report.
  • Hearing: Some institutions hold a hearing where both parties can present their case.
  • Decision: The institution makes a determination based on the evidence and may impose sanctions.

Criminal Law Implications

While Title IX investigations are administrative processes, their underlying allegations often involve conduct that can also be criminal, such as sexual assault or harassment. This dual aspect introduces several complexities:

  • Separate Processes: Title IX investigations and criminal investigations are separate processes conducted by different authorities. Title IX is handled by the educational institution, while criminal matters are handled by law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts.
  • Different Standards of Proof: Title IX investigations use the "preponderance of the evidence" standard, meaning it is more likely than not that the alleged conduct occurred. In contrast, criminal cases require proof "beyond a reasonable doubt," a much higher standard.
  • Concurrent Investigations: It is possible for both investigations to occur simultaneously. Cooperation with law enforcement does not exempt the accused from the Title IX process, and vice versa.

Potential Consequences of Title IX / Criminal Cases

The consequences of both Title IX findings and criminal charges can be severe and life-altering:

  • Title IX Sanctions: These can include suspension, expulsion, or other disciplinary actions from the educational institution. Additionally, a Title IX violation can tarnish one's academic or employment record and future opportunities.
  • Criminal Penalties: Criminal charges can lead to significant penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and a permanent criminal record. Being convicted of a sex crime also carries the possibility of mandatory registration as a sex offender, which has long-lasting societal and personal repercussions.

Navigating the Intersection: Key Considerations

Given the serious implications of Title IX cases and co-occurring criminal charges, it is crucial for individuals facing such allegations to understand their rights and take proactive steps:

  • Legal Representation: Engaging an experienced attorney who understands both Title IX and criminal law is vital. At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, our attorneys can provide guidance, protect your rights, and help plan a defense is robust in both arenas.
  • Understanding Your Rights: You have the right to due process, which includes being informed of the allegations, having access to evidence, and the opportunity to present your case. Our attorneys can work to safeguard these rights and utilize them to your advantage.
  • Cooperation and Strategy: When cooperating with investigations, it is essential to strategize with your attorney to avoid self-incrimination and to ensure that actions in one process do not adversely affect the other. Our attorneys can provide the counsel and guidance you need whenever you must communicate with investigators or officials.

Facing Title IX Allegations? We Can Help.

At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, we have a special focus on representing individuals facing Title IX allegations with potential criminal implications. Our comprehensive approach includes:

  • Experienced Legal Counsel: Our team is well-versed in both Title IX regulations and criminal defense, providing a dual-focused strategy.
  • Thorough Investigation: We conduct our own investigations to uncover all relevant facts and build a strong defense.
  • Representation and Advocacy: We represent clients throughout the Title IX process and in criminal proceedings, ensuring that their rights are protected at every step.
  • Emotional Support: Facing Title IX and criminal allegations can be emotionally taxing. We provide compassionate support and guidance to help you navigate this turbulent time.

Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC is comprised of renowned trial lawyers with extensive experience handling Title IX matters and complex cases. If you or someone you love are currently facing an investigation or allegation that places you at risk of also facing criminal charges, we can help.

To speak with a lawyer about your potential defense, call (737) 200-2332 or contact us online. Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC offers FREE and confidential consultations and handles Title IX cases from California to New York.