Help for Respondents (Accused)
A respondent is an individual who has been reported to have engaged in actions that may constitute Sexual Misconduct. Discovering that a complaint has been filed against you can be a daunting and emotional experience. Emotional support and processing of your thoughts and feelings could be helpful measures to take if you are in this position. If an individual seeks disciplinary action against you or is pursuing a formal complaint alleging sexual discrimination or harassment, sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking, the Title IX coordinator or Title IX Case Manager will meet with you to outline next steps.
Sexual Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, sexual abuse, violence of a sexual nature, Sexual Harassment, Non-Consensual Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Exploitation, video voyeurism, or the obtaining, posting or disclosure of intimate descriptions, photos, or videos without the express consent or the persons depicted therein, as well as dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, as well as crimes of a sexual nature as defined in Title 14 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes or at La. R.S. 44:51.
Our office is committed to providing you with support and helping you navigate the process. You will receive due process under policy and will be treated fairly. You also have right to be presumed not responsible of all allegations until found responsible for the alleged conduct by a hearing panel.
If and when an investigation commences the Respondent shall be sent written notice including the following:
- The specific charges alleged; the date and location, if known, of the incident; a summary of the allegation with reasonable specificity; and a request to meet with the Title IX Investigator.
Receiving a letter of notice does not mean you have been found in violation of a policy. It means an investigation has been started to determine if there was a violation of policy. The investigation process can be stressful and complicated. It is important for you to understand the process and the rights afforded to them.
What are my rights as an accused individual?
Your Rights as a Respondent are the same as the rights of the Complainant. Accused students and employees have certain rights, which include:
- the right to written notice of the allegations;
- the right to provide relevant information and evidence and names of relevant witnesses as part of the investigation;
- the right to request or be granted a hearing;
- right to an advisor, which must be provided by the institution if the party does not have an advisor;
- rights associated with the hearing;
- the right to a written and timely decision, outlining the results of the investigation explaining the basis of the conclusion, and outlining the proper course of an appeal.
- Lastly, you have the right to appeal the outcome. For more information, contact LSU's Title IX Coordinator.
Non-disciplinary, non-punitive individualized services offered as appropriate, as reasonably available, and without fee or charge to both the Complainant or Respondent regardless of whether a formal complaint has been filed. Such measures are designed to restore or preserve equal access to the education program or activity without unreasonably burdening the other party, including measures designed to protect the safety of all parties or the educational environment, or deter Sexual Misconduct.
Supportive measure may include, but are not limited to;
- Mental or physical health services;
- Academic arrangements or adjustments;
- Modifications of work of class schedules;
- Mutual restrictions on contact between the parties;
- Changes in work, housing or academic locations;
- Leaves of absence; and/or
- Increased security and monitoring of certain areas of campus.
Supportive measures shall remain as confidential to the extent that such confidentiality would not impair the ability to provide the supportive measures. The Title IX Campus Coordinator shall bear responsibility for coordinating the effective implementation of supportive measures.
Formal Resolution Process
Understanding the formal resolution process is critical for planning and preparing how you would like participate. See the steps laid out in the flowchart below.
Choosing an Advisor
If a formal complaint has been made against you, and you receive notification of allegation and investigation, it is highly recommended that you obtain an advisor as early as possible to assist with navigating the process and to provide you with support and perspective. All parties going through the grievance process have a right to an advisor at any time during the grievance process. Parties are required to have an advisor during the hearing panel proceedings due the cross-examination process. The primary role of an advisor is to assist you in preparing for meetings and to attend meetings and hearings as needed. The Student Conduct Institute with The State University of New York has created a very helpful and thorough guide to assist with understanding all aspects of the advisor role. Access it below.
If I’ve been accused, should I hire an attorney?
Your advisor can be anyone you choose. The choice of whether to hire an attorney is a personal one. The role of attorneys in disciplinary proceedings is addressed in applicable policies and varies from the attorney serving only as an advisor to the attorney serving as a representative. Contact the Title IX coordinator's office for additional information.
- Office of the Title IX Coordinator
- LSU Mental Health and Counseling Services
- Student Advocacy & Accountability
Request Informal Resolution
Some incidents of sexual misconduct, subject to the discretion of the Title IX Coordinator, may be resolved through an informal resolution process, facilitated by the Office of Civil Rights & Title IX. Informal resolution is a process whereby the parties work with a professional to reach a resolution of the complaint without a formal hearing. This process is completely voluntary and requires the consent of both parties. A party may terminate the informal resolution process at any time before conclusion. Complaints classified as sexual assault, rape, statutory rape, incest or involving violence resulting in significant harm to others are not always appropriate for informal resolution.