The recent wave of allegations of impropriety in Hollywood has given rise to an unprecedented focus on sexual assault. One of the effects of this rise is a reinvigorated attentiveness to the way universities and college campuses respond to allegations of sexual misconduct.
For example, a coalition of universities in Nova Scotia has formed a group that closely examines sexual violence. Though working to draft a standalone policy addressing sexual assault, they also created an overall policy on assault, violence in general, and harassment. The Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents has signed a memo of understanding which expresses their awareness of the problem of sexual assault.
Because the matter is being taken more seriously than ever before, you need one of our experienced lawyers by your side if you are facing allegations of sexual assault or harassment.
The Best Defence Against a University Sexual Assault Charge? Hire a Lawyer
If you or someone you love is charged with sexual assault while on a university or college campus, what should be done? The first step is to contact a reputable law firm. If you decide to go through the process alone, you will be making a mistake that will haunt you for the rest of your life personally, professionally and financially.
Only one thing must be defended against when a sexual assault charge is made on campus – the accusation, which is simply a statement from one individual who believes his or her rights have been violated in one way or another.
Both you and your accuser have a point of view and a story that must be told. It is up to the accuser to prove the allegations. However, the university will not risk a scandal or the potential loss of funding. You need the best lawyer possible to confront the accusations made against you.
Do not speak with the police about the allegations. If the police contact you or arrest you, tell them you are exercising your right to remain silent. Other than identifying yourself, you should not say anything to the police. Upon arrest, ask to speak to a criminal lawyer. If you are arrested by the police or under detention, under s. 10(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the police are required to allow you to speak to a private lawyer or free duty counsel before attempting to take a statement from you. The lawyer will advise you to remain silent. Do not ruin your defence by talking to the police. Everything you say, can and will be used against you.
If the university faculty contacts you to ask questions, the same basic advice to initially remain silent applies. You should immediately contact a lawyer to receive legal advice. After contacting a lawyer, give him or her a complete statement of what you remember and the circumstances involved in the charges leveled against you.
Do not meet with the university without a lawyer present. There is a strong possibility you will be required to sit before a panel of students and administrators who have been chosen to serve on a committee that enforces discipline. They are not lawyers, but will be versed in university and campus policies. Keep in mind, the policies are primarily geared toward supporting the victim, not the accused. You will need to have a lawyer by your side helping you through the process.
A lawyer will be able to obtain the factual allegations against you so that you will be able to respond to the allegations and mount a defence. Your lawyer will also provide you with advice regarding whether you should strategically make a statement or not before the panel. You need to hire a lawyer to properly defend you by attempting to expose any potential credibility or reliability issues in the complainant’s version of events. If you do not hire a skilled and experienced criminal lawyer, you will maximize the odds of being convicted in court and expelled from school.
We Will Fight for Your Freedom and Future
As Kruse Law, we realize how devastating accusations of sexual assault can be. In the Canadian judicial system, individuals are routinely convicted in the court of public opinion. Even after an accused is found not guilty or even if allegations are proven to be demonstrably false, the stigma can follow the accused for a lifetime.
Our firm has successfully litigated countless cases involving sex crimes. No matter the type of criminal or sex crime charge, we have the skills and the knowledge to help you fight.