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Sexual Assault

What do you do if you are a college student accused of sexual assault?

By November 7, 2018September 25th, 2023No Comments

If the alleged sexual assault occurred on a college campus, you will likely be facing disciplinary proceedings on the university level. These are separate from any criminal charges you might be facing from local law enforcement.

This will start with a letter or notice from the school that you have potentially violated a specific student conduct code.

After you read the letter or notice from the school, the next step should be contacting a college student criminal defense attorney. College campuses are under a lot of pressure to respond quickly and assertively to accusations of sexual assault, and without an attorney working on your behalf, you could end up with a harsh punishment without due process.

If you go through the disciplinary and criminal proceedings and are found guilty of campus sexual assault, you could face the following:

  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Prosecution
  • Jail Time
  • Registration as a sex offender

It’s very important that you don’t have any communication with your accuser — even if you are innocent and want to clear your name. It is natural to want to defend yourself if you are innocent or apologize for any miscommunication or wrongdoing on your part, but you cannot do either of those things. Communication is not limited to phone calls or knocking on their front door. It also includes text messages and messaging on social media.

What role does Title IX play in campus sexual assault cases?

Title IX is a federal civil rights law that covers rape, harassment and assault on campus under the umbrella of discrimination. Students have been successful in suing colleges and universities for Title IX violations by proving that the schools were indifferent or negligent in allowing the harassment to occur.

Title IX proceedings are separate from code of conduct violations and any other potential criminal charges from law enforcement. Title IX proceedings can impose varying rulings, from restraining orders to even suspension from campus before you are charged with a crime or disciplined for code of conduct violations.

That’s why it’s imperative that you contact an experienced college student criminal defense attorney to help with your case and navigate the tangled web of university disciplinary hearings, Title IX proceedings and criminal cases.

If you or someone you love is accused of sexual assault on campus, don’t jeopardize their future by hesitating to call a defense attorney. Contact DC Student Defense today.

These materials have been prepared by Cohen Seglias for informational purposes only and are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

Shan Wu

Author Shan Wu

Shan’s professional and personal background gives him a unique understanding of academic institutions and the criminal justice system. A former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., he is at home in D.C. Courts and very familiar with all of the Washington, D.C. law enforcement agencies, especially the Metropolitan Police Department. His parents were university professors so he grew up in a university environment. He understands the mindset of academic institutions. As a prosecutor, he supervised in the misdemeanor crime section. This is the section of the Washington, D.C. prosecutor’s office that handles most college student cases. His understanding of charging decisions and how judges view these cases is invaluable to his student clients and their families. Shan served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia for over ten years. During his tenure there, now Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. appointed him to supervisory positions in the Misdemeanor Trial Section and also in a police corruption task force. His outstanding legal work in the government was recognized through numerous Special Achievement Awards from the Justice Department as well as awards conveyed by law enforcement agencies and community groups. From 1999-2000, Shan served as Counsel to Attorney General Janet Reno, advising her on criminal and civil investigations, E-Gov, E-Commerce (electronic signatures, internet gambling, internet telephony, privacy & public access issues in electronic court filings), congressional oversight, and legislative review. His responsibilities included serving as liaison to the FBI, DEA, Criminal Division, Executive Office of United States Attorneys, National Institute of Justice, and White House Counsel’s Office. Shan serves on the D.C. Bar Association’s Hearing Committee of the Board on Professional Responsibility and is a past president of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He is a 1988 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where he graduated Order of the Barristers, edited two law reviews, and was Co-Director of the Moot Court Program. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Vassar College as well as a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Following law school, he clerked for the late Hon. Jerry Buchmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and the late Eugene Wright, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Connecticut.

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