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Ex-professor fired for allegedly masturbating during Zoom lecture sues Fordham

A professor fired from Fordham University after he was accused of masturbating during a Zoom lecture is suing the Bronx faculty, claiming his erectile dysfunction made the allegation “virtually impossible.”

The scholar who filmed the video can also be suing Fordham, claiming she confronted retaliation after she turned over the awkward 2020 video.

Howard Robinson, 68, was a tenured professor on the college’s Graduate School of Social Service when graduate scholar Andrea Morin filmed a video of the trainer showing to masturbate during a Sept. 10, 2020 class, the lawsuits state.

But Robinson stated in a Sept. 16 petition in Bronx Superior Court that his erectile dysfunction and low testosterone ranges make it “virtually impossible for him to get an erection or masturbate,” which he had informed faculty officers within the subsequent inquiry. 

Morin alleged in her lawsuit she noticed Morin “from above his waist, and observed him for a period of 1.5 minutes, during which time he was shaking, breathing hard, and saying ..oh f*** yeah.” This occurred as college students had damaged out into separate “breakout rooms,” and she or he had her digicam turned off attributable to sickness, courtroom information allege.

She recorded the incident on her cellphone and reported it the identical day, in accordance with the criticism in opposition to the college, filed on Sept. 21 in federal courtroom within the Southern District of New York.

Robinson, who was a tenured professor at Fordham, claims he was struggling not to urinate due to an enlarged prostate during the time of the alleged incident.
Robinson, who was a tenured professor at Fordham, claims he was struggling to not urinate attributable to an enlarged prostate during the time of the alleged incident.
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Morin claimed she contacted Steve Albanese, the affiliate dean of the School and Professional and Continuing Studies in regards to the incident, after she was initially dissuaded from doing so by faculty counselors. She despatched an e-mail to Albanese sharing particulars of the alleged incident in addition to the video she had recorded.  On Sept. 12, 2020 the lawsuit states Robinson emailed Morin asking her “how she was feeling,” and that he was “thinking about her.”

Robinson, of Somers, is petitioning to have his place reinstated on the school, claiming that within the video he was not masturbating however struggling to not urinate attributable to an enlarged prostate and different medical issues. He was typing away an e-mail to his college students to ship a PowerPoint on the identical time, his lawsuit claims.

Morin truly noticed Robinson “grimacing and shifting his weight in his seat as he rushed to complete the message to his class before relieving himself,” the petition stated. 

Robinson was fired from the college following what his petition known as a “flawed investigation,” that didn’t allow him the prospect for a listening to.

If sexual misconduct violations fall beneath Title IX, Robinson can be entitled to a live listening to from each events, in accordance with the swimsuit. For allegations exterior of Title IX, there is no such thing as a listening to. The faculty decided that the incident fell exterior of Title IX, the lawsuit stated — which his petition known as “patently absurd.”

“There can be no dispute that a professor masturbating in front of a student in class would be severe sexual harassment that falls within the scope of Title IX, and would thus require the due process protections prescribed by the May 2020 Title IX regulations,” the authorized papers acknowledged.

Robinson was changed by one other full-time, tenured professor who Morin claims failed her in retaliation for her criticism in opposition to Robinson.  As a results of failing the course — her solely failing grade out of an in any other case wholesome GPA of three.52 — she misplaced entry to her program scholarship and didn’t full her course of research in time to graduate in May 2021, her lawsuit claims. That a delay in commencement prevented her from receiving a increase at her job, it additional alleges.

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