Minot State University resolves a Sexual Assault Issue

Title IX Investigation

Minot – A Title IX investigation was conducted on behalf of a former female student who alleged that she endured sexual assault for more than two years from a professor. The student asserts she reported the sexual assault in April 2013, and the university failed to address her complaint.

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The federal law, Title IX, prohibits discrimination based on sex in schools that are federally funded. As a result of the investigation, the U.S Department of Education revealed that Minot University did not comply with the law in regards to handling sexual assault complaints.

A 38-page letter was sent to the university’s president from the federal agency’s Office of Civil Rights explaining the evidence ascertained during the investigation. According to the agency, the student approached them in December 2013 alleging that she experienced gender discrimination from the university. Immediately following the allegations, the federal agency started to examine Minot State University.

In the letter, the student claims she informed the school about multiple alleged incidents involving sexual harassment and assault that commenced in June 2010 until December 2012. The school did not make an effort to review the allegations. The workplace misconduct allegedly continued to progress after the professor insinuated that the student’s “professional goals” could not be accomplished without his collaboration.

At the point where the professor possibly identified his poor behavior, the student said he followed up with “text messages and emails” along with other individuals who support him, as an attempt “to discourage her from pursuing any complaint against him.” There is no way to measure the severity of the sexual assault the student experienced, however, the professor allegedly taking the time to cover his tracks speaks volumes.

Title IX Investigation Results

The lack of evidence indicating the university held a meeting with the accused professor in order to resolve the sexual assault allegation confirmed that the administrative staff failed to do so on behalf of the student according to the letter. In addition, there is no evidence that proves the law investigated the professor’s questionable actions or brought charges against him.

The university’s policies required a hearing procedure to take place for the student’s allegations, and the letter states that a hearing did not take place. In August 2013, the professor resigned from the university. After his departure, the university concluded their investigation based on the findings in the letter.

The agency stated in the letter that they determined the university “failed to respond promptly and equitably to the student’s complaints of sexual harassment and sexual assault, including by failing to determine whether the students were subjected to a hostile work environment.” The law requires a Title IX coordinator. The federal agency learned that a Title IX coordinator was absent from the university’s community.

Title IX will continue to enforce academic environments to “handle sexual violence,” and MSU will have to abide by the law. The investigation included a file review of reports of sexual harassment and sexual assault during four academic years. The agency also visited the campus in order to have a meeting with the victim, students, and university faculty members.

Title IX Settlement

Minot University agreed to document each of the upcoming sexual harassment and assault case through a new procedure. They also agreed to send the federal agency and official statement for each sexual harassment and sexual assault allegation for three consecutive academic years including 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018.

The Title IX office and coordinator have been installed and prepared to rectify the lack of responses the students receive for sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as end the ongoing damage the students have experienced. Title IX training programs and a nondiscrimination notice were also included in the settlement.

According to the university’s president, Minot University have worked closely with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to implement all the necessary changes into the university’s community for everyone’s safety.

Sexual Harassment Lawyers

Have you ever been a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault in an academic institution in New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia? If so, contact our sexual harassment lawyers in New York, New Jersey, or Philadelphia for legal guidance to the next step you should take regarding your case.

Our skilled sexual harassment lawyers understand that both sexual harassment and assault are illegal, and willing to provide the legal representation you rightfully deserve. For more information on sexual harassment or sexual assault, read our employment law blog.


New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia Employment Attorneys

If you feel you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment in New York, New Jersey or Philadelphia or if your employment rights have been violated, then you should immediately contact the NYC, NJ, PA sexual harassment lawyers at the employment law firm of DEREK T. SMITH LAW GROUP, PLLC. No one deserves a hostile work environment.

Call today to schedule a FREE sexual harassment legal advice Consultation in NY, NJ & PA with one of our top rated sexual harassment attorneys here at the Derek T. Smith Law Group you can reach us online or by calling 877-4NYLAWS. Our NYC employment law attorneys handle a variety of cases involving sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and other employment-related claims. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. to serve you.

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