Sexual Abuse Cases Under Title IX in Long Island

One of the more traumatic experiences that a person can be forced to endure is sexual abuse. New York has criminal laws that punish sexual abusers in the harshest ways. People who are subjected to sexual abuse have the right to seek civil damages against their abusers.

In certain circumstances, students at schools and universities may hold those institutions liable for sexual abuse that happens while on campus. Title IX in sex abuse cases in Long Island that occur at all educational institutions that receive federal funding. If you want to pursue a sex abuse case under Title IX, speak with a qualified Title IX lawyer that can advocate for you.

Potential University Responsibility

Schools must have an established procedure for dealing with complaints of sexual discrimination, abuse, or violence. When these schools fail in this requirement, they may be sued for monetary compensation in federal court.

When a sexual abuse or assault case is claimed at a University or other education institute (college, technical schools, and community colleges) there may be a sexual harassment complaint and/or a negligence case.

A negligence case can occur if the University either knew that the assailant had committed this behavior before or if the University failed to keep the student safe because of security issues, etc. In that instance, Title IX in sex abuse cases in Long Island are to be expected.

Title IX in the Courts

In the landmark Supreme Court decision of Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education et al. 526 U.S. 629 (1999), the Court stated that a school board, and by extension colleges and universities, may be held responsible for the sexual assault of a student if the school is intentionally indifferent to sexual harassment that the school has knowledge of, and that the harassment is so harsh as to interfere with the victim’s education.

The court continues to state that a student has an implied right to sue the school for monetary damages. Using this court decision, victims of abuse may hold not just their abusers, but the school overseers who refused to protect the victim, responsible in court.

Filing a Civil Claim

When it comes to Title IX in sex abuse cases in Long Island, the victim is culpable for investigating and pursuing a case. Unlike complaints against a school for discriminatory practices that are investigated and prosecuted by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), all allegations of a sexual assault on school grounds are the sole responsibility of the victim to pursue.

Although the OCR may undertake their own investigation into the incident, if the plaintiff wishes to recover any compensation or attorney’s fees from the school, they must file a lawsuit in federal court. Even if the OCR chooses to not investigate the issue, or an investigation leads to no action, the plaintiff retains the right to file the case.

Because the case alleges that the school violated Title IX, a federal law, all lawsuits must be brought and tried in federal court. Even if the abuser is arrested, tried, and convicted in New York State Court, and a civil case in New York court awards damages against the abuser, a federal claim is the only means to hold the school responsible.

Steps to Take in Sexual Abuse Cases

The first thing that any person who is the victim of sexual abuse should do is to contact local law enforcement, whether it be campus police or the local police department. They can both arrest the perpetrator and protect the victim. When the abuse occurs on school grounds, the governing body of the school is required to investigate the allegation.

If that investigation leads nowhere or is ignored entirely, it is possible that the victim may pursue a Title IX sex abuse case against the school. Title IX requires not only that schools protect their students from abuse, but also that they properly investigate all allegations. When this system breaks down, the school may be liable for damages in federal civil court.

An attorney can help people better understand their rights with regards to Title IX in sex abuse cases in Long Island. A skilled Title IX lawyer can also help people pursue civil cases alleging that the school was complicit in the assault. Contact a legal advocate today to see how they can help.

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