According to a new lawsuit, Morehouse College administrators failed to properly address sexual harassment allegations leveled against one of their associate professors.
Per the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “The unidentified student said assistant professor Robert Peterson ordered the student, who was a minor, alcoholic drinks on the flight to Brazil. Peterson groped his genitals on the flight, the student’s attorney said in the complaint.Peterson ordered alcoholic drinks for other underage students at a pool party during the trip and sent sexually explicit photos to students.”
“Peterson was known as a professor that exchanged good grades for sex,” adds the complaint.
The alleged harassment was reported by a faculty member to a department chair, but it was never forwarded to the office assigned to handle complaints of that nature. But according to the student, a formal complaint was filed in December 2017. However, Morehouse states it was never received. The complaint was then resubmitted by the student in January.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court.
The student claims he not only suffered academically before eventually leaving in the fall of 2017, but that when he attempted to return to Morehouse at the beginning of this semester, administrators did little to assist him. The student is seeking unspecified monetary and punitive damages.
According to documents filed by the student’s attorney, Peterson, an assistant sociology professor, has “vehemently denied” the allegations. According to a media rep with the historic HBCU, Peterson left Morehouse in April and is no longer an employee of the college.
In a statement, Morehouse said that it does not comment on pending litigation.
Unfortunately, this is the second time in less than a year that Morehouse has come under fire for similar accusations. In December, the New York Times reported that fliers were circulating around campus that read:“Morehouse Protects Rapists.”
Updated: Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, 11:43 a.m. ET: The story has been updated to reflect that Robert Peterson is no longer an employee of Morehouse.