campus sexual assault, San Jose criminal defense lawyer, sexual violence,  sexual harassment, sexual assault crimeOn September 7, 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education would roll back guidelines which the Obama administration had put in place to fight sexual assault and harassment on school campuses. In response, the California Legislature has passed SB-169, which would codify these regulations into state law. The bill is currently awaiting signature by Governor Jerry Brown.

Taking Action Against Campus Sexual Assault

In 2011, the Obama administration put Title IX regulations into place to address the sexual harassment and sexual violence that occurs on school campuses across the country. These regulations required schools to adopt procedures to address complaints of sexual assault and take immediate action when any sexual violence is reported to address the effects of this violence and prevent it from recurring.

While these regulations have been rolled back at the national level, SB-169 will ensure that they remain in place in California by codifying them into state law.

Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), the author of the bill, believes that this law will address the crisis of sexual violence taking place in schools. She noted that the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has reported that one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college, and over 90 percent of college campus sexual assault victims do not report an assault.

Criticism of the Law 

When Secretary DeVos announced the rollback of federal regulations, she noted that it is important for schools to continue to address sexual violence. However, she also believes that the process of responding to complaints should be more fair and impartial, and the existing regulations did not properly protect the rights of people accused of sexual assault.

Other advocates have criticized the regulations which will be put in place under the new California law, since they not only apply to college campuses, but also to K-12 schools, applying the same standards to students in college, high school, and elementary school. They also use a preponderance-of-evidence standard that only requires school administrators to be at least 50.01 percent sure of the truth of any allegations before finding that a student is responsible for sexual assault or harassment. Critics believe that these policies will disproportionately target minority students.

Contact a San Jose Sexual Assault Defense Lawyer 

If you have been accused of campus sexual assault or sexual harassment, you will be facing serious consequences, so you need someone on your side to protect your rights and help you defend against the charges. At the Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson, we will investigate your case, advise you of your options, and work to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact a San Jose criminal defense lawyer today at 408-246-3004 to schedule a free consultation.