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Former University of Wisconsin student sues for sexual harassment

Less than a hundred miles north of Milwaukee sits one the 26 campuses in the University of Wisconsin system. The Oshkosh satellite was recently hit with news that a former student has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Regents and a former art professor who the school determined had sexually harassed her.

The lawsuit says that both the University of Wisconsin system and former professor violated her Title IX and Constitutional rights. The school “acted with deliberate indifference” to the professor’s “sexual harassment of the plaintiff,” the suit filed in U.S. District Court states.

The former student asks for compensation from both the UW system and the former professor for “physical and psychological injuries, medical and educational expenses and other damages,” the Post-Crescent reports. She also asks the court to rule that she was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation.

It is stated in the lawsuit that the former student and professor began a consensual relationship in 2012 while she was in a class he taught. When she tried to end the relationship about a year later, she says he became sexually and emotionally abusive, engaging in behavior that was "intimidating and degrading.”

The complaint also states that the then-chairwoman of the art department was aware of the “misconduct based on complaints she had received from a student and a student parent in December 2012 and January 2013 regarding his inappropriate sexual relationship with plaintiff."

A university investigation found that the professor had engaged in sexual harassment and had also violated the school’s consensual relationships policy. He resigned in June of 2015, but was hired in an equivalent position at the University of Colorado-Boulder two months later.

When the newspaper contacted that school, a spokesperson said the university was unaware of the allegations when he was hired, but is now “looking into” the claims.

If you have been subjected to sexual misconduct in the workplace, contact an attorney experienced in employment law litigation to discuss your legal options.

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