SDSU outlines Title IX investigation process

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by Emely Navarro, Staff Writer

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San Diego State recently outlined the policies and procedures that the alleged sexual assault perpetrator Francisco Paiva Sousa will go through.

The alleged assault, which occurred at a party on College Avenue, was reported to the SDSU Police Department on Dec. 7. Sousa was identified as a suspect in the assault and arrested on Dec. 9.

Sousa was scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 18 at the San Diego Hall of Justice, but it was cancelled as the investigation continues.

According to a campus-wide email sent out by SDSU Title IX Coordinator Jessica Rentto, Sousa is currently suspended and not allowed on campus. Both Sousa and the victim will go through the university’s Title IX investigation process, as well as a student code of conduct investigation. Both investigations are concurrent with the District Attorney’s legal process.

The Title IX investigation will include either the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator meeting with the complainant to discuss the allegations and interim remedies that could result from the alleged sexual offense, such as a residential move or a stay away order.

Because this is a sexual violence case, the woman assaulted can file a criminal complaint, in which both the accused and the victim may be accompanied by an adviser to any meeting in regards to this complaint. This adviser can be an attorney, but he or she can only accompany them; the advisers are not allowed to speak on behalf of either student.

All of the information during these meetings is confidential and will only be released to university administrators if it is required.

The investigation will allow the complainant and Sousa to have equal opportunities to present both witnesses and evidence in connection to the case.

“The investigation must be completed within 60 calendar days after the complaint has been made,” Director of the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities Lee Mintz said. “An additional 30 working days can be added to the investigation period if necessary.”

After the investigation, the investigator will prepare a report including a summary of the allegations, the investigative process and all of the appropriate evidence. Within 10 days the complainant and accused will be informed of the outcome. After receiving this information the complainant can still make an appeal.

Meanwhile, Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities will conduct a student code of conduct investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the university’s judicial officer will prepare a letter that will be sent to Sousa explaining the disciplinary actions that the university will take against him if he is found guilty.

SDSU police has no involvement in this investigation, Lt. Randall Lawrence said.

Mintz did not comment on whether this investigation has begun. Rentto did not return requests for comment.

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