Consent in Maryland Title IX Cases

Many cases involving Title IX violations are based on apparent sexual violence. Others involve harassment that is apparently centered around another person’s sex. While a Title IX accusation is not a criminal matter, many of the same defenses that could apply in a criminal court case also apply to school disciplinary board hearings.

Perhaps the most powerful of all these defenses is consent. If a sexual partner agrees to have physical contact, this contact is not sexual assault. In a similar manner, if the alleged victim in a harassment case sends text messages and emails that appear to lead the defendant on, the defendant may introduce these messages as evidence of consent.

Consent in Maryland Title IX cases is an extremely important concept. An attorney could help you to gather evidence that the alleged victim in the incident gave their consent and that as a result, no unwelcome contact took place.

Using Consent as a Defense

Many allegations involving Title IX violations center around the idea that a defendant made unwelcome advances on another student because of that student’s sex. This can range in seriousness from sending unsolicited messages, to stalking, to rape. One thing that all these allegations have in common is that the alleged victim did not give their permission for contact. This applies to instances of physical contact, as well as electronic contact, or even surveillance.

It is an extremely powerful defense to many Title IX accusations in Maryland to provide evidence that any contact between the two people was consensual. If a defendant can provide text messages where an alleged victim initiated a conversation and never told the defendant to stop, this can defeat allegations of harassment.

Similarly, witnesses to an interaction between the two parties may be able to testify that any physical contact between the two was mutual. An attorney could help defendant students to explore consent as a defense in Maryland Title IX cases.

Helping to Gather Evidence

The schools’ Title IX investigatory boards have only one goal: to enforce their schools’ Title IX policies. This includes the gathering of evidence that supports their case and may even include forcing a defendant to testify in person. It is essential to understand that the investigator is not there to help a defendant or even to suggest a way to gather evidence.

The onus for this process falls entirely on the defendant. An attorney could help to gather evidence of consent that may provide a potent counter-point to cases centered around unwanted contact. They can work to gather text messages or other electronic communications that may indicate an alleged victim’s willingness to meet.

They could also work to track down witnesses to any alleged improper contact that may be able to speak as to how each party was behaving before an alleged assault. In sum, a lawyer could help to broaden a defendant’s reach in gathering key evidence to promote a defense centered on consent.

Consent in Maryland Title IX Cases is a Key Concept

Today’s society demands mutual consent for any interaction between potential romantic partners. Even making unsolicited phone calls, sending unwanted text messages, or showing up unannounced to a person’s home may constitute harassment. People making physical contact must be even more cautious. Any of these accusations could quickly derail your academic life.

One common defense to Title IX accusations in Maryland is to argue that any contact between yourself and the alleged victim was consensual. This can include the procurement of text messages, phone records, and witness statements that indicate that the contact was a two-way street. A student defense attorney could help you to gather this vital evidence. Don’t hesitate to call a lawyer today.