Grad student speaks out on U. professor sexually harassing herand Allie Spensley | Nov 9, 2017
University graduate student Yeohee Im alleged that engineering professor Sergio Verdu sexually harassed her over the course of two months, according to a report obtained by the Huffington Post.
After being found responsible for sexual harassment, Verdu was required to attend an eight-hour training session but was not suspended or terminated.
The report includes screenshots of emails between Im and Verdu, as well as conversations between Im and a friend, in which she indicates extreme wariness about her relationship with Verdu.
Verdu allegedly harassed Im on two occasions, touching her upper thigh and stomach while they watched a movie in his home.
In March, Im sent Verdu an email saying she was uncomfortable with their interactions and wanted to set boundaries. Verdu agreed to speak with Im “to clear it up,” and the two continued to work together
Im told another professor about the incidents; that professor reported her story to the University’s Title IX Office. The University conducted a two-month investigation that ultimately found Verdu “responsible” for violating the University’s sexual misconduct policies.
Michael Hotchkiss, acting spokesperson for the University, wrote in a statement that “a range of penalties may be imposed” on a member of the University community who violates the sexual misconduct policy.
“We require counseling and training for every individual found to have violated our policy, with the goal of stopping inappropriate behavior,” Hotchkiss wrote. “In this case, penalties were imposed in addition to the required counseling.”
Marcia Brown contributed reporting to this article.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.