Home

Ex-Morehouse Student Says College Ignored Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Professor During Study Abroad

By Sharelle Burt

Share

Studying abroad is a time when you bask in other cultures and make lifelong connections with your peers. Being pressured with unwanted advances isn’t supposed to be a part of that experience.

 

On a trip to Brazil in 2015, a first-year student at Morehouse College in Atlanta claims the school did nothing after he filed a sexual harassment complaint against a professor. According to the victim’s attorney, Cade Parian, professor Robert Peterson ordered alcoholic drinks for the student on the flight to South America and groped his genitals. Peterson also ordered drinks for other underage students at a pool party and sent sexually explicit photos.

 

A faculty member reported the allegations to a department chair at the college, but it wasn’t forwarded to the office in charge of handling such complaints. The student said he filed a formal complaint in December 2017. Since Morehouse claims they didn’t receive it, the victim resubmitted the claim in January, saying “Peterson was known as a professor that exchanged good grades for sex.”

 

Peterson was put on administrative leave, but after an external investigator recommended termination, Peterson was let go. The student, however, has since left the historically black college, suffering academically and claims administrators did little to help him after he attempted to return to this semester. He is now seeking unspecified monetary and punitive damages. A lawsuit was filed Monday in Fulton County Superior Court where allegations were “vehemently denied” denied by the accused.

 

Incidents like these aren’t unusual while on trips abroad. In 2012, a study found that female undergraduates experience a high risk of rape and other forms of sexual assault when studying abroad in non-English speaking countries. Emilee Franklin, a student at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, is one example. Franklin claimed back in 2015 she was sexually assaulted while studying abroad in Ireland. After invited by the school to share her experiences with other students, Franklin claimed administrators went out of their way to stop her. The school’s chief student affairs officer, Steve Lyons, sent Franklin an email saying “if you were to show up anyway I will cancel the meeting and follow up with current students individually.” 

Share
Travel Noire

Sharelle Burt

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

13 Hospitalized In Boston After Falling Ill On American Airlines Flight

13 Hospitalized In Boston After Falling Ill On American Airlines Flight

A group of children and chaperones fell ill aboard an American Airlines flight from Miami to Boston and had to be taken to the hospital on April 21, according to local reports. The Boston Globe reported that 13 passengers who had traveled to Ecuador were evaluated at a local hospital after reportedly contracting food poisoning. […]

Victoria M. Walker

Video Of Man Using Plane Toilet Barefoot Sparks Social Media Debate

Video Of Man Using Plane Toilet Barefoot Sparks Social Media Debate

Would you use a restroom on a plane without shoes or socks? The question has sparked a debate online after video footage of a man exiting a plane toilet barefoot has gone viral on Instagram. Related Post: Here’s Why You Don’t Want To Use Airline Blankets The 8-second video, posted to the Instagram account PassengerShaming, […]

Parker Diakite

More Than 200 Killed In Sri Lanka Church And Hotel Bombings On Easter Sunday

More Than 200 Killed In Sri Lanka Church And Hotel Bombings On Easter Sunday

More than 200 people are dead and hundreds more are wounded after a series of bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. A total of eight bombs went off in Colombo, the country’s capital, in three churches and three luxury hotels, as reported in CTV News. Witnesses described powerful explosions, followed by scenes of smoke, […]

Parker Diakite