Morehouse College is facing accusations that it did nothing to come to the aid of a student who was allegedly being sexually harassed by a faculty member.
According to a new lawsuit, the victim was a first-year student at the school when he participated in a study-abroad trip to Brazil in May 2015, at which time the alleged harassment began, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports
The student, who was a minor at the time, claims that assistant professor Robert Peterson ordered him alcoholic drinks on the flight to Brazil and then groped his genitals on the flight. Peterson allegedly ordered alcoholic beverages for other underage students at a pool party during the trip and also allegedly sent sexual images to the students.
“Peterson was known as a professor that exchanged good grades for sex,” the complaint claims.
Despite multiple reports on the professor’s behavior, little was done.
One faculty member reported the alleged harassment to a department chair, but it wasn’t forwarded to the office assigned to handle such complaints. The student said he filed a formal complaint in December 2017, but Morehouse said it didn’t receive the complaint. The student resubmitted the complaint in January.
The student said his grades suffered and he left the school in the fall of 2017. He claimed that officials did little to assist him when he tried to return to school at the start of this semester. The student is now seeking unspecified monetary and punitive damages, per the lawsuit that was filed last week.
Meanwhile, Peterson, the professor in question, has “vehemently denied” all allegations, according to AJC
The AJC reports:
Documents filed by the student’s attorney said Peterson was put on administrative leave and an external investigator recommended termination