Thursday, September 13, 2007

Former OU Student Suing University for Harassment by Professor

The Athens News reported recently on developments in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed earlier this year by a former Ohio University graduate student, Christy Speakman. Speakman sued OU and professor Yoshitomo Saito, alleging that the professor repeatedly harassed her over the course of several years. The paper reports that she "first complained to OU officials about Saito's behavior in November 2003, again in June 2004 when the behavior continued, and a third time in June 2005." Yet, "'nothing was done to remedy the sexual harassment until Oct. 28, 2005,' when OU suspended Saito."

This week, a federal judge dismissed Speakman's claims against Saito because the statute of limitations had passed before the lawsuit was filed. OU remains a defendant in Speakman's lawsuit. OU's attorneys maintained that Speakman "failed to take advantage of preventive or corrective opportunities provided to (her)," through her "failure or refusal to cooperate fully with (the university's) procedures, investigation, and discipline process."

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