Criminal Defense and Title IX
Attorneys Austin, TX

Defense Evidence in a Texas Title IX Hearing

Common types of proof available to students accused of assault

Title IX sexual assault hearings typically employ a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, meaning the accuser must show it's more likely than not that the incident occurred. Institutions like the University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston, and Texas A&M follow this standard, placing a significant burden on accused male students.

Effective defense requires presenting substantial evidence to cast doubt on accusations. Key evidence includes communication records, eyewitness accounts, and expert testimonies, aiding accused Texas students in avoiding adverse outcomes like expulsion, scholarship loss, athletic bans, and reputational damage.

In Texas, many students accused of Title IX violations turn to experienced defense attorneys with proven track records of success to guide them through the process, identify important evidence, and collect testimonies.

Title IX defense evidence objective

Title IX complaints cover a range of scenarios related to alleged sex discrimination. Evidence presented in a Title IX hearing serves to establish an alibi for the accused student, demonstrate consent, challenge witness or accuser credibility, or rectify errors in favor of the "respondent." Examples of common scenarios in Title IX complaints include:

  • Sexual assault at an on-campus dormitory, hall, or other facility.
  • Sexual assault of someone incapable of consent, often described as being "too drunk to consent.”
  • Sending unwanted sexually explicit emails, texts, pictures, or videos to an individual who has requested the communication to cease.
  • Sexual assault during an overnight stay at a hotel for an away game involving a classmate, teammate, or another student.
  • Unwanted kissing or groping during a study date at the library, often referred to as date rape.
  • Sexual harassment as part of hazing.

Categories of Title IX evidence

In a Title IX hearing, evidence can be categorized as either "direct," which requires no inference or conclusion, or "circumstantial," which necessitates drawing one's own conclusions. To be admitted at a Title IX hearing, the evidence must be "relevant," meaning it may have the capacity to prove, explain, or disprove the incident. There are four basic categories of Title IX hearing evidence:

  • Physical evidence. Tangible proof, such as emails, Snapchat screenshots, photos, or objects, supporting the defense against false or inconsistent accusations.
  • Documentary evidence. Written records, in physical or electronic form, like text messages, class records, medical reports, and police documents.
  • Demonstrative evidence. Visual representations, like photos or security camera footage, related to the incident.
  • Verbal evidence. Oral reports from various individuals involved, including the complainant, respondent, classmates, professors, or staff. Hearsay evidence, or reports of another person's words by a witness, may be admitted if relevant and in the right context.

Examples of evidence at a Title IX hearing

While every case is different, there are some common types of evidence that may support the defense in a Title IX hearing, including:

  • Texts
  • Witness testimony. Usually, the witness must be available for cross examination for their testimony to be considered. Witnesses should write down what they remember as soon as possible to keep the memories and details fresh. It could be weeks or months before they are called to testify.
  • Physical injuries.
  • Attendance records.
  • Personal testimony. Statements from the complainant or respondent, detailing their personal accounts of the events, are frequently presented as evidence in Title IX cases.
  • Voicemails.
  • Screenshots of social media messages and posts.
  • Phone records.
  • Call logs.
  • Rideshare app receipts.
  • Rape kit results.
  • Medical report.
  • Police report.
  • Clothing worn during the alleged incident.

Your legal right to a Title IX defense attorney

Title IX complaints in Texas are common. The campus of a major Texas university may receive 1,000 or more such complaints each year. However, it is important to fight back against a Title IX allegation. Having a sexual assault on record can follow an individual throughout their personal life and career. That’s why many college students accused of sexual assault seek the assistance of experienced Title IX defense lawyers to navigate this complex process.

If you're a student facing Title IX complaints and sexual assault allegations, you're entitled to legal support. Botsford & Roark has extensive experience handling high-profile Title IX cases in Austin and Central Texas involving sexual assault allegations.

Brian Roark is dedicated to offering compassionate, confidential, and personalized advocacy for your rights and freedom. If you're confronting Title IX accusations in Texas, contact us for a free case evaluation and leverage decades of Title IX defense experience.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, "Defense Evidence in a Texas Title IX Hearing."

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