When allegations of sexual assault or sexual misconduct are reported to a college or university, they begin an investigation under Title IX. The investigation generally begins with the university notifying the subject of the investigation of the allegations, and inviting that person in for an interview.
If you are the subject of a Title IX investigation, you will need to discuss with your attorney whether or not you should submit to an interview with the Title IX investigators. However, whether or not you submit to an interview with investigators, you will be permitted to submit other evidence regarding the allegations at the time of the scheduled interview. Below is a description of the kinds of evidence that you may, in consultation with your attorney, want to submit to the Title IX investigators:
- Favorable electronic evidence.
Often, you may have electronic evidence that is helpful in proving your innocence. Records of text messages from the accuser, social media posts, messages in other message applications, phone records, and other electronic evidence may paint a different picture than the story being told by the accuser. Many times, in a he-said, she-said case, one of the only methods you have for proving your innocence is to show that the accuser is not telling a credible story.
- Witness statements and/or contact information.
Think about people who were around immediately before or after the event. What might they have to say that would be helpful in showing that you are telling the truth, and that your accuser is not? If those people might have something helpful to say, have them interviewed by a private investigator. If they do in fact have information that is helpful to your case, turn over a report from the private investigator to the Title IX investigators, along with contact information for the witnesses. It’s probably not a good idea to rely solely on giving contact information to the Title IX investigators, as they may never follow up and actually complete an interview.
- Expert witness reports.
If there is a fact at issue that could be given better context by an expert witness (e.g. DNA, injuries, etc…), you can hire an expert witness to review the case and create a report for you. If that report produces information that is favorable to your case, then you can turn it over to the Title IX investigators to use in making their determination.
- Favorable polygraph examination report.
Your lawyer, like a criminal lawyer, can help you schedule a polygraph examination (lie detector test) confidentially. If you get a passing result, you can turn the report over the the Title IX investigator. While such a report might not be admissible in a court, no such evidentiary rules apply in a Title IX investigation.
If you are under investigation by a college or university for sexual assault or sexual misconduct, you should contact an attorney who is experienced in handling Title IX matters immediately.