A pending lawsuit against Columbia University provides details on an alleged pattern of sexual abuse from a university dean.
According to a report from The College Fix, a major update in a massive sex abuse lawsuit against Columbia University reveals specific details about Dean Tom Harford’s alleged conduct. The student, Irene Politis, claims that Harford took control of various aspects of her life through manipulation and deceit.
The lawsuit alleges that Harford, who then served as the Dean of Students at Columbia’s School of General Studies, sexually abused Politis over the course of her time as a student at the university.
From the very first time that Plaintiff met Dean Harford to discuss Plaintiff’s housing options, Dean Harford engaged in inappropriate and manipulative behavior. Recognizing Plaintiff’s vulnerabilities, Dean Harford provided Plaintiff with money and promised to help Plaintiff secure additional scholarship funding for the Fall semester.
Over the course of the summer, Harford used his power and influence at Columbia to coerce Plaintiff into an inappropriate sexual and romantic relationship. Harford subjected Plaintiff to unwanted, abusive, and inappropriate sexual activity; told her stories about his violent past to intimidate Plaintiff; and used Plaintiff’s need for scholarship funding as bait to keep her in the relationship.
A concerning portion of the legal complaint alleges that Politis’ campus counselor warned her to not go public with her accusation against Harford because it would ruin his career.
Harford was removed from his position last year after the university learned of Politis’ allegations. “Mr. Harford was promptly removed from his position as Dean of Students when we learned of behavior that was unacceptable in light of his responsibilities,” a Columbia spokesperson said at the time.
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