Report: SJSU professor stayed in job despite sexual harassment claim

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The president of SJSU is addressing a new report that a professor who sexually harassed a student was allowed to remain in his job. (San Jose State University)

The president of San Jose State University is addressing a new report that a professor who sexually harassed a student was allowed to remain in his job.

San Jose State's president sent an email to the entire campus community Tuesday night responding to the Mercury News report about Professor Lewis Aptekar.

A female student accused Aptekar of sexually harassing her in class last year, saying he repeatedly asked if she was single and said he wanted to date her. His attorney told our media partner that the questions were made in the context of class discussions.

The Mercury News reports a campus investigation found the student was harassed, saying Aptekar's questions probed for more personal information that possibly related to an academic program. The Mercury News also reports two other students complained about Aptekar's behavior in 2014 and that their complaints were not factored into Aptekar's punishment.

He reportedly remained chair of the counselor's education department for nearly five months after the investigation ended and then he served a ten day suspension last spring. .

President Mary Papazain says the actions reported are troubling:

"We are looking into them, we will learn from them and we will take appropriate systematic actions based on what we learn," said Papazain.

The university says it can't offer any further comment because the investigation is covered by privacy laws and much of the information was gained from personnel files.

Related Topics:
newssexual harassmentSJSUcrimeeducationSan Jose
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