Report: 19 UC Berkeley employees violated harassment policy



BERKELEY (KRON) — New documents reveal sexual harassment may be more widespread than previously thought on the UC Berkeley campus, and questions are being raised Wednesday as to how staff members are being punished when they engage in such behavior.

Documents released by the college show 19 employees, including six faculty members, were found to have sexually harassed students, employees or both since 2011.

The records obtained Wednesday by KRON reveal 11 new cases that had not been disclosed during the recent high-profile sexual harassment cases involving a renowned astronomy professor, a vice chancellor, the dean of the law school, and Cal’s assistant basketball coach.

The reports show sexual harassment complaints against an assistant diving coach, a counselor for disabled students, an adjunct professor, and an assistant professor. Seven of the victims were students and 10 were employees.

The release of the reports come as UC Berkeley faces a growing outcry over its handling of sexual harassment and misconduct on campus.

“It’s absolutely outrageous,” said attorney John Winer, who represents Tyann Sorrell. “There’s a thousand companies in America that have over 10,000 employees. In out of those thousand companies, none of them have a problem like Berkeley has.”

In a lawsuit, Sorrell claims she was repeatedly touched and kissed against her will by her boss, law school dean Sujit Choudhry. And then, the lawsuit says, she was expected to continue work for him while her claims were being investigated.

“There was no real interest on the university’s part to protect me as an employee or even remove the dean from the environment,” Sorrell said.

UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university has formed a committee on sexual violence, harassment, and assault to improve campus services, policies, and practices.

“We have to have a climate here where everyone feels safe, respected, and welcome at all times,” Mogulof said.

The committee is expected to start meeting next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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