If you have been accused by another student or faculty member of violating your school’s Title IX policy or of some form of sexual assault, how you respond can be critical and impact the outcome of an eventual Title IX case if you are reported.

FIRST – Whatever you do, DO NOT apologize. We live in an age where we are taught to validate others’ feelings, and while this is generally a good thing, given the political climate and the fact that Title IX cases are nothing like Court Cases, The protections for an accused student or faculty member are very thin or non-existent in some schools. In addition, the burden of proof by which they must find you responsible is a Preponderance of the Evidence, the lowest burden in Civil Law. Well-meaning texts sent to make people feel better or validate feelings are often exhibited against the accused. Don’t think an apology will prevent the accuser from reporting you. It usually won’t.

SECOND – Contact your parents & an attorney with Campus Discipline and Title IX experience. Nobody wants to talk to their parents about their sex life, let alone accusations that they have acted sexually inappropriately. The fact is you are going to need your parent’s financial and emotional support. Title IX cases take a lot of time, are a lot of work, and therefore cost a lot of money. Going this alone is a recipe for disaster. Experienced Campus Discipline Attorneys such as those at Mudrick & Zucker understand Title IX, know the law, how to help students prepare their statements, for the investigative phase, and how to ask and respond to questions. Campus Discipline Attorneys also have the resources to conduct investigations. Remember, short of interviewing other students, the school investigator is likely to do very little, if anything, to help prove that you are not responsible.

THIRD – Preserve all messaging between you and your accuser. This includes Text, SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, other messages, Instagram posts, social media, and snap chats. (It is best to screenshot snap chats before they disappear. If you save a snap chat, the accuser will be notified that you saved the snap)