UC Berkeley law school dean accused of sexual harassment goes on indefinite leave

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- The dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law School announced Wednesday afternoon he will take an indefinite leave of absence following allegations of sexual harassment.

A former administrative assistant filed a suit against him. Tyann Sorrell says her boss Sujit Choudhry made numerous unwanted advances. She is now suing the dean of the UC Berkeley law school and UC Regents.

"Just sleepless nights, it's a very high stressed situation and I've tried to cope as best as I can," Sorrell said.

Her lawyer says it started in 2014 when the dean arrived and it quickly escalated.

"It built up to daily bear hugs where he'd press her into him and then continue to kiss her on the cheek," said Sorrell's attorney John Winer.

Sorrel, who was his administrative assistant, filed a complaint with the office of prevention of harassment and discrimination on campus. That office sided with Sorrell after the dean admitted his wrong doing.

"She said this behavior happened every day and the only thing he disputed was that it only happened once or twice per week," Winer said.

The university report states the dean also admitted to kissing and hugging at least two other women. Despite this, the university did not fire him. Instead, it reduced Choudhry's salary and told him to write a letter of apology.

"A reduction of salary by 10 percent. I think I was told that he was not going to be eligible for merit increases for at least a year was a really slap on the wrist," Winer said.

Once again the university said, "a thorough investigation of this case found that dean Choudhry's behavior in this situation violated policy."

Wednesday afternoon, the university announced it was looking for an interim replacement after Choudhry said he was taking an indefinite leave.
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