All too often, innocent people are accused of crimes they did not commit, whether out of spite, anger revenge or a serious misunderstanding. During a messy divorce or a dispute over child custody, people might accuse their spouse of something that is untrue in an effort get more money or sole custody of the kids.
In January of last year, a University of Maryland professor was accused of sexual assault by one of his students, who the professor says was unhappy with the way he supervised her work. The student dropped the charges and then decided to reinstate them, but the chemistry professor was acquitted in September.
False accusations of sexual assault and domestic violence are particularly common. Unfortunately, there are often negative social stigmas attached to these allegations, even if the accusations are false and the supposed offender is found not guilty. These stigmas can affect a person’s life long after they’ve been cleared of the charges.
The 66-year-old professor, who had worked at the university’s Baltimore campus for 27 years and was once honored for his teaching, says he was forced to retire by university administrators while charges were still pending.
According to court documents, the professor said the university threatened him with a two-year suspension and the loss of his pension. At the time, he did not realize that it was unlawful for the university to carry out either of these threats, but the pressure reportedly scared him into leaving his position at the school.
The professor, who is Hindu, also argues that the university disrespected him based on his religion. Whether the school officials’ allegedly illegal treatment of the professor was a result of religious persecution or the false allegation of sexual assault, the professor is unhappy and seeking justice. He is now suing the university for more than $30 million.
UPI.com: “Maryland Professor Says Retirement Forced,” 14 Feb. 2011
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