Process of a Washington, D.C. Title IX Investigation

The United States Congress passed Title IX – a federal statute – in 1972. Although the statute’s initial intent was to protect all individuals from enduring sex discrimination, the statute extends to protect college and university students across the country from sexual violence and harassment.

Specifically, the statute requires these institutions of higher learning to investigate all claims of sexual violence, independent of police investigations. Title IX also covers allegations of sexual assault, rape, sexual harassment, and stalking.

Title IX investigations rarely grant the accused the same presumption of innocence or due process rights afforded defendants in criminal prosecutions, despite the potentially life-altering consequences that accompany such matters. Following an accusation, there can be a “rush to judgment” based upon flimsy allegations and incomplete investigations.

If you or a family member is a student at a D.C. college or university facing charges for student misconduct, you need to hire experienced legal representation as soon as possible. An experienced D.C. student defense attorney can thoroughly explain the process of a Washington, D.C. Title IX investigation and advocate on your behalf before a university hearing board or in the courtroom.

Title IX Investigation Process

The process of a Washington, D.C. Title IX investigation is multi-faceted and consists of several steps depending on the institution. However, most schools generally must do the following in their investigations:

  • Notifying both sides of the investigation – First, the college or university’s Title IX Office typically sends a formal complaint to both the alleged victim of the assault, as well as to the accused. This complaint includes information about the specific allegations which are under investigation.
  • Gathering Information – The next step in the investigation process is to gather information and evidence pertaining to the allegations. Admissible evidence might include texts, emails, phone logs, and social media posts. Investigators could also obtain statements from the complainant, the accused (sometimes called the “respondent”), and witnesses to the occurrence.
  • Review of Information – Both sides to the dispute can review and respond to the information which the investigator gathers.
  • Report Writing ­– Once the investigator has gathered all of the necessary information, they will compile this information into a written report. When the investigator reviews the evidence, they will use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. In other words, for evidence to be admissible, it must be “more likely than not” that the conduct in question actually occurred.
  • Notice of Outcome – The Title IX Office notifies both sides about the outcome of the investigation and the punishment imposed on the respondent if appropriate.

A D.C. student defense attorney can explain this process of a Washington, D.C. Title IX investigation in more detail.

Title IX Appeals

Both the alleged victim and the accused may appeal the final determination of responsibility – or the sanction imposed. A Title IX review panel could grant an appeal if a substantial procedural error occurred that materially affected the initial outcome, or if new evidence came to light that was not available at the time of the initial hearing. Some schools allow the respondent to appeal a disproportionately harsh sanction.

Speak with an Experienced DC Title IX Attorney Today

The Title IX investigation process is long and involved. If you are facing a Title IX charge, you could incur serious consequences, not to mention criminal charges.

An experienced D.C. student defense attorney can answer all of your questions regarding the process of a Washington, D.C. Title IX investigation and could represent you to pursue the best possible outcome in your case.