COLLEGE STUDENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT & MISCONDUCTCONTACT US NOW FOR A CONSULTATION
School Harassment Attorney
- Case Results
- List of Schools
Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings
Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.
Large private university
Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation
We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.
Small private college
Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed
Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.
Midsized private collegeSee More Case Results
"I am writing to let any college student who gets accused of something serious by their school know that they need a lawyer like Felice Duffy to defend them. I was accused of something terrible by a student that I would never do and didn’t do. Even though I knew exactly what actually happened, I was very scared that my university might not find me innocent. It was terrifying to think that I might lose my full basketball scholarship or could have been suspended or expelled and that me and my family’s name could have gotten a horrible reputation. I can’t even put into words how I excited I was when I got the letter from the school that cleared me completely of the charges against me and I have Felice to thank for that 100%. Since I’m not in Connecticut, Felice and her investigator used video conferencing to interview me and my witnesses, talk with my parents, and get me fully prepared for every meeting I had with my school. They got all my texts and email that proved my innocence and organized them perfectly for the Dean and the discipline committee. Felice was always very direct and respectful even though the subject matter was very personal, and she was always ahead of the school in terms of getting me and them important information at every step. It was like having the best scouting report ever." Felice obviously knows her stuff but she also deeply cares. You can tell that she loves the work she’s doing to help college kids in really difficult situations.
College Sophomre, Colorado
“The claims leveled against me were terrible, but the wonderful news is that I was fully cleared of all the allegations because of the outstanding work Christine Brown and the team at Duffy Law did on my behalf. The first thing that really impressed me was that from the very first call Christine quickly understood what was going on and was able to read between the lines to understand the complicated dynamics of the situation. Despite my entire career being spent in academia, I didn't know much about Title IX procedures. Her expertise and knowledge of the process was immediately apparent and critically helpful in guiding me and giving me as much peace of mind as possible.. Christine knew how to spot the important subtext throughout the process and made sure I understood the strategic options I had at every stage going forward. I felt very confident in the decisions we made together. I felt vindicated by the decision and that this situation will have no further effects on my career. I am very grateful to Christine and Duffy Law for guiding me through this stressful process and recommend them without reservation to any faculty member facing a similarly challenging situation. ”
Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine at a midwest university
“I hired Felice Duffy in the middle of a Title IX sexual assault proceeding. While I had initially retained another attorney on a recommendation, it turns out they did not have much insight to the inner workings of university policy, which I learned is NOT required to follow the basic laws of due process. Felice was absolutely incredible, and as an athlete, she understood my thought process and feelings the entire way. This is what stood out the most to me. At the beginning of my school’s adjudication process, I was an absolute mess. Not only is Felice extremely knowledgeable in law and how school adjudication processes work, but she also really does care about her clients and their well-being. It was initially extremely tough for me to speak about what I was facing. Felice was able to assist me not only in compiling the proper evidence and responding to the school, but also put me in the right state of mind to defend myself and move on with my life after it was all completed. Prior to hiring Duffy Law, I was concerned that I would be relegated to working with a legal assistant or secretary being that my case was in a college setting as opposed to a state court. However, Felice always found a way to make time and was there every step of the way. I feel like an important part of hiring an attorney is being able to trust them to fight for you no matter what the scenario may be and you can rest assured you will be getting that with Duffy Law. I would recommend Felice Duffy of Duffy Law 10 times out of 10 to anyone that may be put in a tough situation like I was”
Female College Freshman, MassachusettsSee More Client Testimonials
Schools Where We've Handled Cases
Here are some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:
- Amherst College
- Arkansas State University
- Bard College
- Bates College
- Belmont Abbey College
- Bowling Green State University
- Brandeis University
- Brown University
- Cal State Polytechnic University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Central Connecticut State University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Colorado State University
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Creighton Law School
- Dartmouth College
- Elim Bible Institute and College
- Emmanuel College
- Fairfield University
- Flagler College
- Florida State University
- Fordham University
- Furman University
- George Fox University
- Guilford College
- Howard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Indiana University
- Johns Hopkins University
- LaSalle University
- Lesley University
- Louisiana State University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Michigan State University
- Mississippi University
- Nichols College
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Rice University
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- Southern Connecticut State University
- St. John's University
- St. Lawrence University
- Syracuse University
- Swarthmore College
- Tallahassee Comm. College
- Texas A/M, College Station
- Touro University
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- University of Buffalo
- University of California, Davis
- University of California, Riverside
- University of Central Florida
- University of Connecticut
- University of Hartford
- University of Kansas
- University of Lynchburg
- University of Maryland
- University of Mass. Med. School
- University of Miami
- University of Missouri
- University of Nebraska
- University of New Haven
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Pittsburg
- University of Redlands California
- University of Rhode Island
- University of Texas
- University of Vermont
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- University of Wisconsin, Whitewater
- University of Wyoming
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Vance-Granville Community College
- Vassar College
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington University, St. Louis
- Wesleyan University
- Westfield State University
- Western Washington University
- Wheaton College
- William Smith College
- Yale University
- Youngstown State University
If You’ve Been Accused of Sexual Misconduct or Harassment at College, You Need an Experienced School Harassment Attorney
As a college student facing accusations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment is a very serious matter. These accusations have the potential to trigger both academic discipline and criminal charges; and, if you are unable to dispute the accusations successfully, they could truly impact the rest of your life. If you are facing these accusations, protecting yourself needs to be your priority, and it is strongly in your best interests to speak with a school harassment attorney right away.
Assisting students accused of sexual misconduct or harassment in violation of a school code of conduct across the United States
Many college students believe that teasing, flashing, or other acts of a sexual nature are harmless and simply to be seen as entertaining. Increasingly, however, targets of these behaviors, both male and female, are reporting them to the administration of your college or university. Regardless of your stated intention or belief that the conduct was welcomed or accepted by the other person, if your actions are received as threatening or even just unwanted, you may be accused by your school of serious sexual misconduct or harassment. Acts such as unwanted sexual advances, exposure, voyeurism, or sexually explicit communications are all violations of your college’s code of conduct and may result in extremely serious long-term consequences.
Our highly experienced school harassment attorneys at Duffy Law know how to protect your rights in the face of serious code of conduct or Title IX infringement allegations, so please call Duffy Law, LLC at 203-946-2000 for a consultation today.
Schools take complaints of sexual misconduct and harassment very seriously
Federal laws such as the Clery Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 require colleges and universities that receive funds from the federal government to take sexual complaints extremely seriously and, if they fail to do so, they may face sanctions from the Department of Education. Under Title IX, schools are required to investigate complaints of sexual harassment. For this reason and more, schools often initiate an extensive investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment.
If the school determines that you violated the code of conduct and the alleged misconduct or harassment occurred, the administration is required to do whatever is necessary to prevent and deter future misconduct. This often means that violators face harsh penalties including:
- Disciplinary probation
- Formal reprimand
- Loss of financial aid or housing
In the event that you are suspended or expelled, your transcript will likely reflect the fact that you violated the code of conduct regarding sexual harassment or misconduct. This can substantially affect your chances of admission into other universities or advanced degree programs and ultimately your career.
What constitutes sexual misconduct on (or off) a college campus?
Sexual conduct does not have one specific definition. Rather, laws vary from state to state, and policies vary from one college to the next. Acts that constitute sexual misconduct in some states and at some schools may be classified as sexual harassment in others, so determining what laws or policies apply to your situation is the first step toward building an effective defense.
Generally speaking, sexual misconduct includes a broad range of conduct from unwelcome comments to sexual assault. Making inappropriate jokes, using sexual innuendo, and other forms of conduct that are not intended to cause harm may fall into this category. When facing any type of allegations, the specific label your state or your school applies is far less important than the penalties that are at stake and the defenses you have available.
What constitutes sexual harassment in the school environment?
Sexual harassment can take many different forms. Broadly speaking, colleges and universities can (and will) discipline students for forms of sexual harassment that are verbal, nonverbal and physical in nature. This includes (but is not limited to) acts such as:
- Making comments about a person’s physical appearance
- Sending sexually inappropriate emails, texts or direct messages
- Posting sexually inappropriate comments on others’ social media posts
- Inappropriately touching or groping a person without that person’s consent
- Exposing oneself or making obscene gestures
- Hazing rituals
- Stalking (either in person or online)
- Sharing sexually explicit photos or videos with another person
- Sharing sexually explicit photos or videos of another person (including revenge pornography)
- Making someone feel intimidated in a sexual manner
- Sexual assault
While consent can be a defense to sexual harassment in some cases, consent isn’t always easy to prove. In addition, in many cases, accusers will assert that they felt coerced or felt that they had no choice but to consent or stay silent out of fear for their safety. Of course, under no circumstances should you fall victim to false allegations; and, if the allegations against you simply are not true, your sexual harassment attorney can gather the available evidence to build as strong a case as possible.
What should you expect after being accused of sexual harassment at school?
Once you have been accused of sexual harassment, your school will almost certainly conduct an investigation. Depending on the severity of the allegations, the police may investigate as well (the police will almost certainly be involved in cases involving allegations of sexual assault or rape). These investigations can be intimidating, and they can also be dangerous. If you are facing accusations, you will want a school harassment lawyer to represent you during the investigative process. Your lawyer will be able to communicate with the school and the police for you, assert your legal rights on your behalf and begin steering the matter toward as favorable a resolution as possible.
Once the school’s investigation is over, you will most likely be required to attend a disciplinary hearing (unless your lawyer is able to resolve your case at the investigative stage). As discussed above, this is a very serious matter that can potentially have life-altering implications. Your attorney can help you prepare, represent you at the hearing (if this is permitted), and ensure that you preserve your right to appeal if necessary (and if you have this right). Depending on the outcome of the hearing, at this point, the whole ordeal may be over, or you may find yourself facing one (or more) of the penalties listed above.
Disciplinary proceedings can be complex
In many cases, your school will conduct a disciplinary hearing to determine whether a violation occurred. Unlike a traditional criminal case, however, you do not have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and the allegations against you do not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for punishment to be imposed. You may not even have the right to have a lawyer with you or appeal the decision in the future.
Sexual misconduct and harassment cases often involve the alleged victim’s word against yours. For this reason, it is important to find any evidence possible to assert your innocence. Text messages, emails, witness reports, and more can demonstrate that any sexual conduct that occurred was not unwanted. Often, however, you may not realize that such evidence exists. An experienced attorney will know how to investigate the circumstances of your case in order to gather evidence and build an effective defense against the accusations.
Do I need to hire a school harassment attorney?
Given all that you have at stake, it is strongly in your best interests to hire a school harassment lawyer to represent you. When you hire a school harassment lawyer at Duffy Law, your lawyer will:
- Investigate the Allegations Against You – When facing allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, it is extremely important that you gather evidence independent of the school’s investigation. Your sexual harassment attorney at Duffy Law will investigate promptly to identify all available evidence and determine what witnesses are available to testify on your behalf.
- Represent You in All Formal and Informal Communications – In order to preserve your legal rights and ensure that you do not inadvertently say anything that could jeopardize your defense, your lawyer will represent you in all formal and informal communications with school officials and law enforcement.
- Build Your Defense – After gathering the available evidence and evaluating the circumstances of your case, your lawyer will build a defense strategy focused on protecting you to the fullest extent possible.
- Represent You at Your Disciplinary Hearing – If permitted, your lawyer will represent you at your disciplinary hearing. If your lawyer is not allowed to be present, your lawyer will help you prepare thoroughly—including anticipating questions, crafting and practicing your responses and prepared statements, and ensuring that you know exactly what to expect when your hearing date arrives.
- Evaluate Your Next Steps (if Necessary) – When sexual harassment allegations get publicized, they can cause significant harm to a college student’s reputation (this is especially common in cases involving high-profile student athletes). Unfortunately, when students are cleared of wrongdoing, this typically does not get the same level of coverage. If necessary, our lawyers can assist with media relations and rebuilding your public reputation. We can also assist with appealing the outcome of your disciplinary hearing and/or pursuing other legal avenues.
Let Duffy Law Protect Your Rights
Allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment can have a seriously adverse effect on your future. Our highly knowledgeable Title IX and Conduct Code attorneys understand the different rules and procedures of collegiate disciplinary proceedings. We know how to present evidence in your defense to mitigate or eliminate the consequences. Call Duffy Law, LLC at 203-946-2000 now for a confidential consultation.