Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sometimes it's complicated

From the  SF Chronicle: An assistant professor at UC Berkeley accused by at least three students of sexual harassment filed a complaint Wednesday against the University of California Board of Regents claiming harassment, discrimination and retaliation as the school system handled the accusations.
Blake Wentworth filed the suit in Alameda County Superior Court after filing a defamation suit Sept. 22 against two of his accusers, doctoral students Erin Bennett and Kathleen Gutierrez. He filed a separate defamation suit against another accuser, Nicole Hemenway, on Sept. 20.
The legal action against the university seeks an unspecified amount in damages, claiming UC harassed Wentworth and imposed punishments such as punitive leave and suspension based on disability, because he suffers from depression and bipolar disorder...
Doctoral students Bennett and Gutierrez filed a complaint with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing in April because Wentworth had been allowed to teach after they reported he touched them inappropriately and repeatedly spoke about sex to them in 2014 and 2015.
Gutierrez said he talked about sex, strip clubs and drugs, and that he touched her head and said he was attracted to her. He ignored her demands that he stop, she said. Campus investigators found on Oct. 2, 2015, that Wentworth violated the sexual harassment policy in Gutierrez’s case, according to documents obtained by The Chronicle in a previous report. Officials found he did not violate campus sexual harassment policy in Bennett’s case.
Dianne Klein, a spokeswoman for the UC Regents said officials did not have enough information on the suit to comment.

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