Title IX Assault Defense Lawyer in St. Louis, MO
Last Updated: January 10, 2024
This content has been written and edited by professional legal writers and individually reviewed and verified by Christopher Combs and Steven Waterkotte, attorneys who have over 40 combined years in the criminal defense industry.
If you are facing charges of assault at your college or university, you need to contact a Title IX defense attorney at Combs Waterkotte in St. Louis immediately. Our legal team will meet with you to discuss the specifics of your case as part of our free consultation, here your side of the story, and build a stable, aggressive defense.
What is Title IX?
The text reads:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Through various Supreme Court rulings, Title IX has been interpreted to include protection from various types of sexual violence and sexual misconduct including sexual assault, /practice-areas/title-ix-harassment-defense-lawyer-st-louis-mo/sexual harassment and stalking. Because of this, schools are required to investigate alleged or suspected sex crimes, or risk losing their federal funding. The law is designed to protect all students, employees, volunteers, and visitors at academic institutions, regardless of their sex. Because they could lose their funding, schools are strongly incentivized to investigate and punish someone accused, even if the evidence doesn't indicate that the allegations occurred, or occurred as the accuser alleges.
What is the Definition of Consent Under Title IX in St. Louis, MO?
Lack of consent is a critical factor in determining whether sexual violence/assault has occurred. Consent is informed, freely given, and mutually understood. Consent requires an affirmative act or statement by each participant. Consent is not passive.
- If coercion, intimidation, threats, and/or physical force are used, there is no consent
- If a person is mentally or physically incapacitated or impaired by alcohol or drugs such that the person cannot understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual situation, there is no consent
- If a person is asleep or unconscious, there is no consent
- Consent to one form of sexual activity does not imply consent to other forms of sexual activity
- Consent can be withdrawn. A person who initially consents to sexual activity is deemed not to have consented to any sexual activity that occurs after he or she withdraws consent
If you’ve been accused of assault under Title IX, call Combs Waterkotte today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us. Our St. Louis Title IX assault defense attorney will work to get you the most favorable resolution possible in your case.
What Are My Rights If I Have Been Accused of Committing Assault as a Title IX Offense in St. Louis, MO?
Because the assault under title IX investigation occurs within your college or university, your rights should be outlined in your student handbook. For example, students in the University of Missouri system are entitled to the following:
- Respectful treatment from university officials
- Access to campus support resources (unless they are suspended during an investigation)
- Having an advisor of your choice attend all meetings and proceedings
- Refusal to have an allegation resolved through certain university procedures or processes
- An opportunity to present potential witnesses and provide evidence
- Information regarding allegations, school policies, and findings
- A chance to appeal
Regardless of where you attend school, an experienced Title IX assault defense attorney can help you understand your rights both inside and outside of your academic institution. Title IX allegations can quickly lead to a criminal investigation, so the sooner you retain a Combs Waterkotte St. Louis Title IX assault defense lawyer, the stronger your case will be.
What’s the Difference Between an Assault Investigation Under Title IX and a Criminal Assault Investigation?
A Title IX investigation is conducted by your college or university, while a criminal investigation is done by local law enforcement. These investigations can happen concurrently and independently of one another. You can be found not guilty of sexual assault in criminal court and still face disciplinary actions from your school, for instance, but those found guilty in legal proceedings will likely face Title IX consequences, as well.
This is mainly due to the lower burden of proof in Title IX investigations. In Title IX investigations, the accusations of assault do not have to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, like they would in a criminal trial. The school just has to believe that it’s more likely than not the assault allegation is true – a a preponderance of evidence. While a Title IX investigation will not result in fines or jail time, the consequences can still be severe and could include any, or a combination, of the following:
- Mandatory counseling or sensitivity training
- Banishment from certain activities
The most serious implications could include criminal investigations and marks against your permanent record and reputations. Even an allegation of sexual assault can follow you around for the rest of your life, so it is especially crucial to hire a St. Louis Title IX defense attorney to clear your name. Combs Waterkotte protects your due process rights.
What Type of Assault is Considered a Title IX Violation in St. Louis, MO?
Each school is required to have its own Title IX coordinator and guidelines which set their own definitions and their own investigative processes. The University of Missouri system prohibits the following:
sexual harassment, sexual assault, including rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object, fondling, incest or statutory rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking…
Under Title IX, sexual violence/assault is a form of prohibited sexual harassment. Sexual violence/assault includes physical sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or where a person is incapable of giving consent because of his or her temporary or permanent mental or physical incapacity or because of his or her youth.
Examples of sexual violence/assault include:
- Sexual intercourse without consent
- Unwilling sexual penetration with any object or body part that is committed by force, threat, or intimidation
- Sexual touching with an object or body part without consent
- Sexual touching with an object or body part committed by force, threat, or intimidation
- Prostituting another student
- Non-consensual videotaping or audiotaping of sexual activity
- Knowingly transmitting a sexually transmitted disease to another
- Forcible Rape
Not Guilty Verdict
Not Guilty Verdict
- Order of Protection
Order of Protection
Order of Protection
- Statutory Sodomy
Statutory Sodomy 2nd
Statutory Sodomy 2nd
The Role of Evidence in Title IX Assault Cases
Unlike criminal cases where proof beyond a reasonable doubt is required, Title IX cases often hinge on a preponderance of evidence. This means that the decision-makers assess whether it’s more likely than not that the alleged assault occurred. Evidence can range from text messages and emails to witness statements and physical evidence. Having an assault defense lawyer who knows how to present and challenge evidence effectively is crucial, as the standard for weighing this evidence is less stringent than in criminal courts, yet the outcomes can significantly affect your life.
Key Strategies in Fighting Title IX Allegations
Building a robust defense against Title IX allegations involves several key strategies. Firstly, gathering comprehensive evidence is crucial, including communications, witness testimonies, and any relevant documents. Secondly, understanding the specific policies and procedures of the educational institution is essential to navigate the process effectively. It’s also vital to develop a coherent narrative that addresses the allegations directly while maintaining the accused’s rights and dignity. Engaging an experienced Title IX defense attorney early in the process can provide invaluable guidance and advocacy, ensuring the accused’s rights are protected and the best possible defense is presented.
Our St. Louis Assault Defense Attorneys Can Protect Your Future
The implications of a Title IX can be far-reaching and long-lasting. Given the complex and rather confusing nature of these proceedings, you deserve a skilled and knowledgeable St. Louis Title IX assault defense attorney by your side. For a free and confidential case review, call Combs Waterkotte today at (314) 900-HELP or contact us online.