WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Two UCLA graduate students are seeking legal action after university officials allegedly ignored their complaints over a professor accused of sexual misconduct.
Nefertiti Takla and Kristen Hillaire Glasgow filed a lawsuit on June 11 against the Regents of the University of California for alleged violations stemming from what they say are “multiple incidents of sexual harassment” by history professor Gabriel Piterberg.
According to the lawsuit, Piterberg propositioned and embarrassed Glasgow with sexual comments and was also harassing co-plaintiff Takla, even allegedly groping her bottom, pinning her against a car, and forcing his tongue in her mouth.
After Takla filed a complaint, Glasgow and another woman did the same – but Glasgow says the woman who handled gender discrimination complaints at UCLA pretended she’d never heard from her and that the office wouldn’t respond to her allegations.
“I feel like everybody I told let me down,” said Glasgow. “I finally left a voicemail saying, ‘What does a sexually harassed person have to do?'”
Piterberg did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The university released the following statement: “UCLA is committed to providing an environment free from harassment and discrimination and ensuring due process for all members of our community. The facts of this case are complex and due to the privacy rights of all involved, we are prohibited from making further comment.”
As for Glasgow, she says she’s paying the price for others misconduct when all she wanted was to do the right thing.
“I’ve lost letters of recommendation,” she said. “I don’t know if as a whistle-blower I will be able to get a job.”
“But right now, protecting women is more important,” she added.