In the wake of the #MeToo movement, accusations of sexual assault and rape on college campuses have been commonplace in Pennsylvania and all across the United States. Unfortunately, a large percentage of female accusers in campus sexual assault cases falsely accuse young men of this crime, despite the fact that sexual assault accusations can have a tremendous effect on the accused’s life and his future employment prospects.
According to the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, up to 90 percent of all sexual assault accusations on campuses are baseless and are usually made by women who were in a romantic relationship with the accused, the incident involved both the accused and accuser getting drunk, and/or it involved jealousy and cheating.
Our Pittsburgh campus sexual assault attorney at SMT Legal explains that with easy access to large amounts of alcohol and a large number of girls on college or university campuses, many young men cannot withstand the temptation of getting drunk and having one-night stands on campuses.
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Even those who did nothing wrong can be accused of rape and charged with first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or even fourth-degree sexual assault. Unfortunately, universities and colleges treat the accuser as the “victim,” while the accused has the burden to prove his innocence.
Our criminal defense lawyers here at SMT Legal warn that young men accused of campus sexual assault are almost never offered the protections required under criminal justice system procedures. These protections include but are not limited to:
Your rights granted by the criminal justice system can be gravely violated when you are facing Title IX proceedings in a campus sexual assault case. In the vast majority of these cases, the accuser does not have the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, the college panel automatically treats the accuser as the “victim” and can find the accused guilty on a mere preponderance of the evidence, which is the lowest possible burden of proof.
Being accused of campus sexual assault is one of the worst nightmares for many young men and their parents. After all, these accusations can cause severe damage to the accused’s future academic and employment prospects, as colleges and universities often evict the accused in sexual assault cases from campuses, withdraw them from classes and athletic programs, and may even permanently expel them even when there is not enough evidence to prove guilt.
It is important to get in touch with a Pittsburgh campus sexual assault lawyer if you have been accused of rape or sexual assault or the college campus panel has already found you guilty and you are facing suspension, expulsion, challenges gaining employment, and a plethora of other negative consequences.