WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — UCLA is facing a firestorm of criticism after a professor accused of sexual harassment was allowed to go back to work.
The university settled a lawsuit filed by two students and punished the professor but he’s now back in the classroom.
Protesters took over Professor Gabriel Piterberg’s class. In a cell phone video shot by one of the protesters you can see the embattled history professor talking to a student before he exits the room amid the angry chants.
Piterberg was back in class at UCLA this week after a prolonged absence. He was banished from campus after two female graduate students filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him. One woman said Piterberg groped her, another said he propositioned her and made sexual comments.
Kristen Glasgow was one of the plaintiffs and spoke to CBS2 in June 2015. “I feel like everybody that I turned to let me down,” she said.
UCLA ultimately settled the lawsuit. Piterberg was reportedly fined several thousand dollars, suspended for a quarter and is not allowed to have his door closed during office hours. He was allowed to come back to the classroom and student advocates say that’s not OK.
Graduate student Alli Carlisle is with a student group that advocates for victims of sexual harassment.
“We just want our university to be a safe place for women to study and work and safe places aren’t created by letting serial sexual harassers back on campus,” Carlisle said.
“Knowing that you have to navigate a campus where a professor has committed those acts, it’s a very traumatizing experience,” student Chloe Pan said.
CBS2’s Tom Wait reached out to UCLA and professor Piterberg for comment. He did not hear back from either.