College & University Discipline

Student walking on campus with a bookbag.

All colleges and universities have an affirmative duty to investigate and adjudicate allegations of wrongdoing related to student activities – on and off campus – when those activities involve the college or university.  Title IX of the Federal Code requires it.  How each college and university goes about satisfying that obligation varies from institution to institution because the law offers very little guidance.  Some educational institutions offer more protection and due process to its students while others fall far short of offering any.

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How and when you the student (or parent of a student) first respond to an allegation of wrongdoing will often have a dramatic impact on the final outcome of your case.  Your continued presence at your college or university could depend on your first response.

College Campus Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Misconduct
  • Date Rape
  • Hazing Offenses
  • Alcohol Related Offenses
  • Cheating
  • Assault and Battery

The Law Office of John R. Grasso, Inc. has represented many college and university students confronted with allegations of student misconduct.  From simple disorderly conduct to accusations of hazing offenses, campus sexual assault, to more complex misconduct allegations.  Our work includes campus investigating and representing students at disciplinary proceedings, with appeals from those proceedings and the resulting sanctions, as well as any criminal defense that arose from the same circumstances underlying the student misconduct matter.

Some of our former clients attended:

  • University of Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island College
  • Bryant University
  • Providence College
  • Johnson & Wales University
  • Roger Williams University
  • Brown University

Recent Results:

“Four local university students charged with first degree sexual assault.  Their university immediately brought charges of campus sexual misconduct and removed the students from campus. We convinced the university to suspend it disciplinary investigation to avoid interfering with the ongoing criminal matter.  After we helped exonerate the students from the criminal charges, the campus misconduct investigations were dropped.”

“Male student at a local university was accused of having nonconsensual sex with a female student who claimed she was incapacitated.  After a thorough investigation and information sharing with the university, the matter went to a full hearing.  Our student was found not responsible.”

“Two students charged with sexual misconduct.  An aggressive investigation and simultaneous civil litigation resulted in no findings against our clients.”

“Male student accused of inappropriate sexual touching.  We immediately investigated and prepared our student for an interview with the local police.  No criminal charges filed.  No student discipline.”


In the past few years, this area has become one of the most active aspects of our law practice.  We are familiar with all aspects of campus misconduct and student discipline matters.

Our approach is simple.  Regardless of how your college or university chooses to handle your matter, we will conduct our own investigation, assemble the relevant witnesses, facts, and other evidence, keep you informed so that you have a minute by minute understanding of your case, help you make important decisions, then prepare you and your defense.  Oftentimes, the faster we begin to investigate, the better the outcome of your case.  We always outpace the college or university’s investigator(s) because that is what it takes to win.

The results of our work include charges being dismissed, reduced, settled more favorably.  Some of our clients have been entirely exonerated.  We have successfully persuaded colleges and universities to suspend their own campus proceedings when there is a corresponding criminal matter to allow the criminal justice system to work without interference by the college or university.

As a former police officer, Attorney John R. Grasso takes a hands-on approach to your investigation because the more thorough the investigation, the more information he has to win your case.  He will help you understand the landscape ahead, aggressively and efficiently investigate your case from the ground up, and advise you each and every step of the way.

If you have been accused of wrongdoing related to your status as a student at a college or university in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, the sooner you call our office, the greater your chances of resolving the matter in your favor.


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Testimonials - See What Past Clients Are Saying about Rhode Island Defense Attorney John R. Grasso