Instructor resigns after harassment complaints

September 27, 2018

IRONTON — An unidentified male instructor at Ohio University Southern has resigned following an investigation into sexual harassment complaints brought by two student employees last school year.

A spokeswoman for the main campus of Ohio University in Athens declined to identify the instructor or say in which department the man worked. The matter was referred to Ironton police, according to Carly Leatherwood, senior director of communication services at Ohio University.

The university proceeded with the internal administrative investigation and subsequent processes, Leatherwood said. The university referred the criminal allegation to the Ironton Police Department for them to pursue as the university does not have resources in Ironton to pursue criminal matters on that campus.

Capt. Joe Ross of the Ironton Police Department, however, said university police authorities told him the two complainants didn’t want to file charges and that the matter would be handled internally.

“We are not releasing the individual’s name to remain compliant with FER PA,” Leatherwood said. “If the individual’s name were to be released, the students making the complaint would also be easily identified” since the department is so small, she said.

The unnamed instructor who worked at the Southern campus for two-and-a-half years apparently resigned May 17. The university placed him on paid administrative leave Feb. 22. A predisciplinary conference had been scheduled for May 16, according to information supplied by Ohio University.

An investigator for Ohio University found that the allegations of sexual harassment on the basis of a hostile work environment was established.

One of the complainants said the unnamed instructor asked her for sex and forcefully grabbed her buttocks. Another student employee at the Southern campus said the instructor told her he would like to see her naked and massaged her shoulders and strongly hugged her without her consent, according to an 18-page investigation of the complaints.

“While we do not typically comment on individual cases, Ohio University takes all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously and investigates these matters thoroughly,” according to a statement from the university.

“The personal safety and welfare of our students and the campus community are our top priorities, and equitable measures are taken to ensure any and all complaints are handled appropriately,” according to the statement.

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