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Due to low evidentiary standards with on-campus sex crime cases, students involved in a Lubbock sex crime case are more susceptible to being wrongfully charged compared to a sex crime off-campus. If you are facing a sex crimes charge, it is vital to contact an experienced sex crimes lawyer to ensure your rights are protected by building a solid defense.
Unique Aspects of Sex Crimes on Campus
The difference between evidentiary standards in on-campus sex crimes cases and criminal sex crime cases, is criminal sex crime cases require more certainty backed with solid evidence. To be convicted of a felony in a criminal case, twelve people must unanimously find beyond all reasonable doubt that the allegation is true; the person did commit the sexual assault. Sex crime cases have the highest burden in the state of Texas and in the federal government, which means the jury must be completely satisfied without any doubt with their decision. It is higher than the burden to take money away from someone or to take a child away from a parent.
The school’s standard is much lower than that. The university looks for a preponderance of evidence which relies more on a witness with convincing evidence and its probable truth, instead of the amount of evidence. Another factor is the individual’s attorney often does not have the right to cross-examine his or her accuser. That work is usually done solely by the investigator.
Oftentimes, the investigation begins with the assumption that the person making this allegation is telling the truth. Consequently, the person who is being accused is in a weaker position at the start. That is why it is extremely important that an investigation begins as soon as possible.
Process of a Student Hearing
Due to the low evidentiary standards typically required in a student hearing, it is very likely that someone who did not commit the offense could still be expelled or suspended from school.
Each university under the Title 9 Act is required to have a process for dealing with on-campus sex crimes cases. However, the process for each school is different. Although some universities allow for an outside lawyer such as a criminal defense attorney to be part of the cross-examination, asking questions to the witnesses is not allowed by the universities.
Unfortunately, the investigators decide what they want to put in the report and what they want to leave out. The report is read by the board members who make the decision about whether the student is found responsible and, if so, whether or not to expel them from school.
Contacting an Attorney
When someone faces charges in a case that simply require a preponderance of evidence to result in a conviction, it is especially important that they consult with a student defense attorney because the burden of proof is so low. The student must have their own investigation done by their defense attorney.
One should not trust that the investigators employed by the university are going to gather all of the information. The university has a financial incentive in the case that says if the university does not conduct a Title 9 investigation, and if the university does not prosecute the case, they are subject to losing federal money and could be sued by the accuser in the case.