Wednesday, October 18

Twenty-five UCLA employees identified in UC sexual harassment reports


News, UC


About 35 percent of complainants in the 113 sexual harassment case reports released by individual University of California campuses Tuesday were students. (Miriam Bribiesca/Photo editor)

About 35 percent of complainants in the 113 sexual harassment case reports released by individual University of California campuses Tuesday were students. (Miriam Bribiesca/Photo editor)


UCLA had 25 cases of faculty, staff and employees who sexually harassed university community members between 2013 and 2016, the second-highest number among the 10 UC campuses, according to documents released by University of California campuses Tuesday.

A former director of a prominent program at the UCLA School of Law, multiple staff members in the UCLA Health system and a former chair of the Department of French and Francophone Studies were just a few of those named in the documents as perpetrators.

All UC campuses disclosed the final investigation and disciplinary reports on those sexual violence and harassment cases, which date between January 2013 and April 2016, in response to public records requests from multiple media outlets, including The Daily Californian and The Mercury News.

There were 113 total cases in which UC faculty, staff and employees were found to have violated the University’s sexual harassment policies.

Of the 25 cases at UCLA, 12 resulted in dismissal, settlement resulting in resignation or nonrenewal of contracts. Other cases resulted in suspension without pay, a fine of up to $7,500, a no-contact order with the complainant, demotion or sexual assault training.

At least 12 of the cases involved staff or faculty in UCLA Health, the David Geffen School of Medicine or the School of Dentistry.

Dany Matar, a former cook at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, was found to have repeatedly touched a female’s buttock. He was dismissed in March 2016. An employee at the School of Dentistry sexually assaulted an intoxicated undergraduate student.

Many of the complaints involved staff or a faculty making inappropriate comments or repeatedly expressing romantic interest to a degree that created a hostile environment for the complainants. The comments took the form of repeated text messages, poems and invitations to spend time together outside of campus.

Some cases led to UCPD investigations in which staff members were criminally charged. For example, a former employee at the UCLA Anderson School of Management took photos up his colleagues’ skirts, which resulted in a three-year prison sentence.

Prominent administrators, faculty and staff at the other UC campuses were also found responsible for sexual assault or harassment.

Joseph Lewis, dean of the UC Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts from 2010 to 2014 and a professor at the school, had 26 allegations of sexual harassment filed against him and was found responsible for several of those allegations. Lewis resigned in August 2014.

At UC Riverside, a former senior associate athletics director for development was found to have made sexually explicit comments to his subordinates and touched a subordinate’s breast.

The documents were heavily redacted. Entire sections of some documents were omitted, and some documents omitted the names of respondents and complainants.

The UC Office of General Counsel said in a letter issued with the reports that the UC redacted portions of the reports because privacy concerns for either the complainant or respondent supersede the right to access public records.

About 7 percent of the cases involved employees, staff or faculty who touched others’ intimate body parts, according to the letter. It also said about two-thirds of the respondents no longer work for the University.

The documents released do not include ongoing Title IX investigations, which the Office of General Counsel said would compromise the integrity of investigations.

UC spokesperson Claire Doan said in a statement the misconduct reflected in the cases pertains to a small percentage of the UC’s 250,000 employees.

“Most of the cases included in this records release were investigated and adjudicated under policies and processes that are no longer in effect,” Doan added. “Over the past two and half years, UC has taken steps to significantly change, and improve, the way such cases are handled.”

She also said the University has moved to implement systemwide changes. For example, she said the UC formed a task force to improve the University’s sexual violence and sexual harassment prevention and response efforts.

“Results of this effort include a new systemwide policy, enhanced confidential support for complainant and resources for respondents, new adjudication protocols and mandatory training for faculty, staff and students,” Doan said.

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Assistant News Editor

Leou is the assistant news editor for the National and Higher Education beat. He covers University of California system-wide news, protests, unions, as well as state, national, or international news relevant to UCLA students.


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