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Students suing colleges for sex assault disciplinary action

Increasingly, women on college campuses are coming forward with allegations of sexual assault. Colleges and universities are taking these reports more seriously than they did in past decades and taking increasingly harsh action against the young men charged with assault and other forms of sexual violence, regardless of whether any criminal action is taken against them or not.

With this rise in reporting of alleged sexually-based crimes has come an increase in legal action by college men who say that they were punished by their school for crimes they didn't commit. In fact, the number of these lawsuits since 2011 is ten times what it was in the two decades prior to that year.

While in most cases, students aren't expelled for allegations of sexual assault, the accusation can go on their disciplinary record.

Many of these lawsuits are based on Title IX, which is the same law that those who make claims of sexual assault use. Since the law at its core deals with gender bias, these men are claiming that their schools acted with gender bias in disciplining them or expelling them from school.

An accusation of sexual assault that gets a student expelled or even disciplined can impact his ability to qualify for a scholarship, participate in sports, get into graduate school or even transfer to another university. The consequences can follow him beyond school and impact his ability to get a job.

Even if the person making the accusation chooses not to go to the police, it's essential that the student being accused and his parents take the matter seriously and seek experienced legal guidance as soon as possible.

Source: Washington Post, "Expelled for sex assault, young men are filing more lawsuits to clear their names," T. Rees Shapiro, April 28, 2017

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