August 22, 2016

Evidence (Student Misconduct)

Rules of evidence and discovery used in state and federal proceedings are not applicable to the investigatory process for prohibited conduct. The investigation will consider information that is relevant, material, and temporally proximate to the conduct at issue; in other words, information that makes the existence of a fact or inference more or less likely.

The Title IX Coordinator may exclude information that is not relevant or is not considered credible or reliable in the investigatory process. For instance, polygraph tests will not be considered in determining whether a fact exists.

(a)      Character evidence

Character witnesses, statements, or letters are not admissible as evidence and will not be considered.

Examples of character evidence include statements, resumes, transcripts, and letters from friends, family, or faculty.

(b)       Prior sexual history

Generally, the sexual history of a Reporting Party, Respondent, or witness will not be admitted or considered as evidence unless directly relevant and temporally proximate to an issue. Character or reputation regarding sexual activity is never relevant and will not be considered as evidence.

When is sexual history relevant?

  • When there is evidence of substantially similar conduct by a Respondent, regardless of a finding of responsibility. This evidence may be relevant in determining the Respondent’s knowledge, intent, motive, absence of mistake, or modus operandi;
  • When there is prior sexual history between the parties and the Respondent states that the Reporting Party gave consent. Specifically, their prior sexual history may be relevant to assess how consent was communicated between the parties. However, the mere fact of a current or previous dating/sexual relationship does not constitute consent;
  • When sexual history may be relevant to prove a material fact. For example, to explain an injury or physical finding.