A sexual assault lawsuit has been leveled against Dartmouth College. Seven women claim that three specific professors in a human behavior research department at the Ivy League school had “leered at, groped, sexted, intoxicated and even raped female students” for over 16 years while the college administration chose to ignore reports of the behavior. The women are seeking $70 million in damages.
The original complaint
During the interval between the complaint being filed and being made public, the women had no choice but to continue working with the professors: one of the women was sexually assaulted during that period.
Sexual Assault Lawsuit Cites Professors’ Power Over Female Students
According to the women, the three professors engaged in sexual assault and harassment through a variety of activities, with most of them centering on a party culture in which the women were coerced into drinking heavily and pressured sexually.
These activities took place in an atmosphere in which the professors had power over the women’s academic success. The lawsuit included specific episodes of rape, sexual assault and pressure, and threats of professional retribution during a time when they were pursuing advanced degrees and careers.
In addition to the civil sexual assault lawsuit, the New Hampshire attorney general is conducting its own investigation into the professors’ behavior. The college issued a statement indicating that it supports the women for coming forward but that it denies the claims against the administration. “We respectfully but strongly disagree with the characterizations of Dartmouth’s actions in the complaint and will respond through our own court filings.”