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Andrew Escobedo (provided via Colleges of Arts and Sciences website)

Hearing date set for professor accused of sexual harassment

The Ohio University Faculty Senate has set the date for a hearing to determine whether an English professor accused of sexual harassment will be dismissed from his position.

The hearing will take place Sept. 1 and 2, Robin Muhammad, chair of the hearing committee, said in an email. That hearing is part of the final phase of Andrew Escobedo’s disciplinary process. He is facing dismissal after multiple English graduate students accused him of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Six female students filed complaints against Escobedo with the Office of Equity and Civil Rights Compliance. Investigators found enough evidence to support findings of sexual harassment in four of those cases. According to a memo from the office, the investigators found that Escobedo participated in a pattern of inappropriate conduct beginning as early as 2003 in which he bought female students drinks at bars and touched them sexually.

The first two women who accused Escobedo of sexual harassment, Susanna Hempstead and Christine Adams, filed a federal complaint in March arguing that the university was aware of Escobedo’s misconduct and failed to respond to the situation, violating the women’s right to equal education. The suit names as defendants Escobedo, OU and Joe McLaughlin, an English professor and former chair of the English department who the women argue was aware of misconduct.

In a response to the federal complaint, Escobedo denied that he broke university policy or has any tendency to become sexually involved with students. The university argued that it had adequately responded to the accusations against Escobedo as they came to light.

After the faculty committee votes, the Ohio University Board of Trustees will review the committee’s decision and either sustain it or object to it.

Escobedo is a tenured professor who has worked for the university since 1998, and he makes $87,149 a year. He is currently on paid administrative leave and banned from campus.

@baileygallion

bg272614@ohio.edu

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