The plaintiffs, all doctoral college students, say that anthropology professor John Comaroff kissed and groped college students with out their consent and threatened to sabotage their careers in the event that they complained.
Margaret Czerwienski, Lilia Kilburn and Amulya Mandava say of their civil case that the 77-year-old Comaroff was allowed to get away with the alleged habits for years.
“All three plaintiffs repeatedly complained to Harvard directors,” mentioned the swimsuit filed in a Boston federal court docket.
“However the college brushed them apart and opted to guard its star professor over weak college students,” it added.
The lawsuit says the ladies first approached Harvard employees about Comaroff practically 5 years in the past.
It alleges that Comaroff kissed Kilburn on the mouth with out her consent, squeezed her thigh in public and instructed her she could possibly be raped or killed in elements of Africa for being in a same-sex relationship.
The lawsuit says Kilburn was subjected to “a unbroken nightmare that included extra pressured kissing, groping, persistent invites to socialize alone off-campus, and coercive management.”
Allegations towards Comaroff have been first detailed within the college’s newspaper, The Harvard Crimson greater than a 12 months in the past, based on the New York Instances.
Comaroff was positioned on administrative depart for this 12 months’s spring semester after an investigation final month discovered that he engaged in verbal conduct that violated Harvard’s insurance policies on harassment, the Instances reported.
He was additionally barred from instructing required programs by the subsequent tutorial 12 months.
Comaroff was not discovered accountable for undesirable sexual contact although, the paper added.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, describes the measures as “restricted, momentary sanctions.”
Harvard College’s media workforce didn’t reply to requests for remark from AFP.
Attorneys for Comaroff disputed the accusations towards their shopper in an announcement carried by the New York Instances.
“Professor Comaroff categorically denies ever harassing or retaliating towards any pupil,” they mentioned.