May 24, 2020

Before Michael Dolce sent his daughter to college, he sat her down and showed her the number of recorded sexual assault cases on her soon-to-be campus. She thought the numbers were relatively low.

They were only the numbers of reported cases, her father reminded her.

“Multiply that number by 10. Now look at that number and tell me that that's a small number,” Dolce said. “At least one of your dorm mates is going to be sexually assaulted every single week.”

Dolce is a sex crime lawyer, and he leads a practice group of legal professionals at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll law firm in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The lawyer said he handles cases involving child abuse, sexual violence and domestic violence.

He and other lawyers may now be involved with Title IX cases in universities after U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos released new regulations on May 6, which include a courtroom-style hearing process.

“Why are we now saying that an accused can designate any person they want, including a fellow classmate, to be their advocate, to be their effective lawyer during one of these proceedings?” Dolce said. “And having the right—the absolute right—during a live, in-face, person-to-person hearing to cross-examine the accuser is absolutely an intimidation tactic.”

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