Suit: DePaul instructor used position to coerce student into sex
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A DePaul University student is suing the school and one of its instructors, claiming her teacher used his position to coerce her into having sex with him.
The four-count suit was filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court against the university and the instructor. The woman is seeking more than $200,000 in damages, according to court documents.
The student enrolled in the instructor’s class during the spring 2016 semester, according to the suit.
While taking his class, the instructor asked the woman out for a drink, according to the suit. They met for dinner on April 15, 2016, where he “plied her with alcohol in an attempt to get her intoxicated.” After dinner, the instructor stopped on the street to smoke marijuana and tried to kiss her. At that time, the woman told him “no” and turned away.
During a drive back to campus, he asked to show her his home. The woman agreed. When she came out of a bathroom at his home, she found him naked and he aggressively pursued her and they had sex, according to the suit.
The woman agreed to a drink and dinner with the instructor and went to his home, because she felt obligated to comply with the requests of the instructor in a class she was enrolled in, the suit said.
On a second occasion, the instructor asked the woman to his office on campus, the suit said. The woman said she refused to have sex with him in his office. He then told her to “get on the floor and play with herself.” The woman said she did, and again felt compelled to do so because of his position.
The instructor told the woman he would give her an A in his class and that she would not have to take the final exam, the suit said.
The suit claims the teacher’s behavior and conduct amounts to battery, and resulted in the woman suffering from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The university should have known the instructor was the subject of “many complaints for sexual harassment, unwanted touching of students of the University and obnoxious behavior,” the suit said.
The suit also seeks damages under the Gender Violence Act and for negligence.
The instructor’s conduct, the suit said, was coercive and constitutes gender-related violence as defined by state law.
The suit claims the university perpetuated gender-related violence by allowing the instructor to be alone with and touch the woman. Further, the university “should have known [the instructor] had made sexual advances and inappropriately touched other female students,” and also failed to supervise him.
The university did not respond to a request for comment Thursday night.