Dartmouth settles sexual harassment lawsuit

By Darryl Coote

Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Dartmouth College settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with nine women who claimed they were raped and sexually harassed by professors at the Ivy League school.

According to a joint statement by Dartmouth and the female plaintiffs published on the school's website Tuesday, the two sides were able to reach a $14 million settlement agreement that is subject to the court's approval.


The plaintiffs -- Kristina Rapuano, Vassiki Chauhan, Sasha Brietzke, Annemarie Brown, Andrea Courtney, Marissa Evans, Jane Doe, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 -- said they were "satisfied" with the result.

"We remain committed to bringing survivor perspectives and community voices to the forefront of the conversation surrounding campus climate," the women said in a statement. "Together with Dartmouth, we plan to continue addressing the systemic roots of power-based personal violence and gender-based discrimination across all levels of severity so that our experiences -- and those of the class we represent -- are never repeated."

The women filed the lawsuit in November 2018, accusing three former professors of having turned Dartmouth's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences "into a 21st-century Animal House."


According to the complaint, Professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen had "leered at, groped, sexted, intoxicated and even raped female students" for over a decade while the school turned a blind eye to the abuse.

The women had sued Dartmouth's trustees for $70 million in damages in a class-action lawsuit, accusing the school of failing to create a safe environment free of gender-based discrimination, in violation of Title IX.

Dartmouth President Philip J. Hanlon on Tuesday applauded the women for having "courageously" come forward to expose the "toxic environment" they were subjected to.

"I cannot express strongly enough my deep disappointment that these individuals violated their positions of trust to these, and other, students and members of our community," he said. "Their conduct flies in the face of Dartmouth's mission and core values."

In a January statement, the school said the Faculty of Arts and Sciences had recommended for the three men to be stripped of their tenure and fired, but Kelley and Whalen had resigned and Heatherton retired during the summer.

The school has since banned the men from Dartmouth's campus and is pursuing to revoke their tenure.

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