Dartmouth sued following professor misconduct allegations


Seven women are suing Dartmouth College for sexual assault, harassment and discrimination they say they experienced from three prominent professors who, according to the suit, turned a human behavior research department "into a 21st-century Animal House".

For over a decade, these professors in the school's psychology and brain sciences department, "leered at, groped, sexted, intoxicated and even raped female students", said a New York Times report, citing court papers filed Thursday in a federal court in northeastern US state of New Hampshire.

The suit, filed at the US District Court in New Hampshire, alleges "Dartmouth College has knowingly permitted three of its prominent (and well funded) professors to turn a human behavior research department into a 21st Century Animal House".

The women also accused the college administration of looking the other way for more than 16 years, seeking 70 million dollars in damages.

Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen allegedly comprised a "predators' club" that treated female students as sex objects and plied them with booze at bars and "hot tub parties" - even if the women were underage. All three were allowed to either resign or retire, said the New York Times report.

Earlier this year Heatherton retired and Kelley and Whalen resigned, and according to The New York Times they have been barred from working at Dartmouth, being on campus, or attending campus events.

An investigation into the allegations was announced by Dartmouth in October of 2017. When she tried to leave, the lawsuit says, Whalen pinned her to the wall and repeatedly tried to put his hands down her trousers despite repeated demands that he stop, until she forcefully removed his hands. "I really hope they feel they have a good place to share their story", she said.

He then began pushing her to have sex and then threatening professional retribution when she resisted, the court papers say.

"When I was going through what I went through, I adopted this mentality that I felt like I needed to keep my head down and get through it, get past it", she told The Post.

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Samantha Fried, 18, said that she believes the school will ensure no student will face abuse from a faculty member in the future.

Dartmouth is in the process of revising its sexual misconduct policies such that they're consistent for faculty, students and staff.

Dartmouth administrators encouraged victims to continue working with their harassers after the women filed Title IX complaints in the spring of 2017, plaintiffs contend, and waited months before removing the men from campus.

Whalen and Kelley could not be reached for comment.

A criminal probe by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office remains ongoing.

During that period, Whalen sexually assaulted one of the seven women, Vassiki Chauhan, according to the complaint, filed by the law firms of Douglas, Leonard & Garvey in New Hampshire and Sanford Heisler Sharp in NY.

At least two sexual harassment complaints were made against Heatherton in 2002, the suit says, and instead of "responding appropriately", Dartmouth promoted him. "We applaud the courage displayed by members of our community within PBS who brought the misconduct allegations to Dartmouth's attention a year ago".

INSIDER contacted an attorney allegedly representing Heatherton, but has not heard back.

Rapuano said she had left the country for a while in 2016 to get away from Kelley.