Consent in College Park Title IX Cases

Title IX covers a wide range of discriminatory and abusive behavior on campuses throughout College Park. These allegations can include accusations related to sexual discrimination in the classroom or in a student group. It can involve various types of harassment. That said, the most serious of these allegations typically involve claims of sexual violence. A Title IX violation under any of these circumstances could damage your collegiate career – or end it completely.

When it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct, one of the most powerful potential defenses is consent. If both parties consented to the sexual conduct at the time it occurred, that could act as a defense during a Title IX hearing.

While this defense is powerful, it is often difficult to prove. Thankfully, a professional attorney could advise you on how a consent defense could benefit your case. With the help of the right attorney, you could appreciate the strength of a defense based on consent in College Park Title IX cases.

Citing Consent as a Defense

Whether the alleged sexual contact was a violent sexual assault or an unwanted sexual advance, a consent defense could prove useful during a disciplinary hearing. After all, any activity that an accuser willingly consented to cannot result in a Title IX offense. The key to consent is that it is willingly given. Coercing a person into consent after the fact does not count. Neither does going beyond the scope of a person’s consent.

If the disciplinary board is convinced that the situation that led to a Title IX case was consensual, they are unlikely to take any action against the accused student. That said, this defense is subjective, and there is no guarantee that a disciplinary board will see things the way the student did.

Proving Consent in a Title IX Hearing

Proving consent can be challenging during these hearings. In many cases, the conduct in question was only witnessed by the two parties involved. When their stories differ, it can be difficult for a disciplinary board to determine what really happened.

There are several options for an attorney to develop evidence that bolsters a consent claim. While these options are not always available, it is important for an accused student to thoroughly investigate every aspect of their case. A single piece of evidence could be the deciding factor in their case.

In the electronic era, text messages are often powerful evidence in cases that involve sexual misconduct allegations. The text messages between the two parties prior to the incident and after could shed light on what occurred. While texts that suggest consent occurred can be powerful evidence, they are not always automatically accepted as true by the board.

Witness statements can also be powerful. If a person witnesses the incident, their unbiased view of what occurred could be determinative. There are no rules against hearsay in most Title IX hearings, so a witness could also testify if the alleged victim claimed after the incident that the sexual contact had been consensual.

Let an Attorney Advise You on Consent Issues in a Title IX Hearing

While consent can be a powerful defense, it is not universally available. In cases regarding discrimination or harassment, consent is unlikely to be a factor.

The same is not true for allegations of sexual misconduct. In these cases, building a Title IX defense around mutual consent could be a winning strategy for a College Park student.