Berkeley Law School Dean Resigns Over Sexual Harassment Complaint

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The law school dean for the University of California at Berkeley resigned his post on Thursday after admitting to physical contact with his executive assistant that violated the school’s sexual harassment policy, campus officials said.

The ouster of Sujit Choudhry, who faces a lawsuit by his accuser, came amid heightened scrutiny of the way in which colleges and universities around the country have dealt with allegations of rape and sexual abuse on campuses.

Choudhry has admitted to engaging in unwanted physical contact with his assistant on multiple occasions, including hugging and kissing her. He also has admitted to holding her hands to his waist and touching her shoulders and arms from behind while she sat at her desk, according to a university statement.

But Choudhry, who will remain on the law school faculty for the time being, has denied sexually harassing his assistant.

The assistant, who was not named in a 12-page investigative report from the school’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, also complained that Choudhry directed her to perform personal tasks on his behalf, such as mailing mortgage documents and find him a laundromat.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Steve Gorman, Alan Crosby and Dan Grebler)