Second Circuit Appeals Panel Reinstates Student's Sexual Harassment Claim

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Second Circuit Appeals Panel Reinstates Student's Sexual Harassment Claim


Daniel Papelino was expelled from a New York pharmacy college after he disclosed that he was sexually harassed to Albert White, the school's associate dean of student affairs. Papelino alleged that Deanna Nowak, his Chemistry professor, was overly flirtatious and made unwanted sexual advances towards Papelino in her office and even offered to award him extra points on his exam in exchange for sexual favors.

Not long after Papelino complained to Dean White of the sexual harassment, Nowak was charged with spearheading an investigation to determine whether Papelino and his two roommates had cheated on exams. All three students were found guilty of cheating and Papelino was expelled. Papelino brought a sexual harassment claim against the school after a state court found that there was no evidence that Papelino had cheated on any exam. Papelino and his roommates sued the school for retaliation, sexual harassment and breach of contract. These lawsuits were dismissed by the District Court, however Papelino appealed.

The Second Circuit panel found that Dean White did not take Papelino's sexual harassment allegation seriously and did nothing to investigate the claim. As a result, the panel reinstated Papelino's claim of sexual harassment against the school.

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