A Kansas University law professor who is facing a recommendation for dismissal for sexual misconduct indicated through his questioning Thursday that he contends a key accuser fabricated part of her allegation.
The questioning came while law professor Emil Tonkovich was cross-examining a 1991 KU graduate during an ongoing hearing on the ouster recommendation.
Tonkovich asked the graduate whether she knew details about calls the professor made in September 1990 to a friend of hers who also is a law graduate. The friend had testified that during the calls, Tonkovich insisted on coming to her house, then hung up in disgust after saying "I don't have to beg for it."
Tonkovich told the witness, whose testimony had begun Thursday morning, that he wasn't contesting that he called her friend.
He asked her whether her friend told her that she gave Tonkovich a note a couple of days before he made the calls. The note, Tonkovich said, asked him to call her.
The witness said she wasn't aware of a note.
Tonkovich also asked her whether her friend told her that in the call, he declined an offer to come to her apartment. The woman said no.
The woman and a December 1991 law school graduate were the only two witnesses to testify on Thursday afternoon in the hearing, which is held before the Tenure and Related Problems Committee and is scheduled for every Thursday through early December in the Kansas Union.
Both witnesses testified that Tonkovich had a reputation of what one woman termed "hitting on 1-Ls" or first-year law students.
The second witness testified that Tonkovich routinely showed up at parties and bars with students and bought her beer on several occasions when she was younger than 21.
After a career fair during the spring of 1990, she testified, Tonkovich asked her "Have you seen my new truck?"
"I realize this comment sounds very benign," she said. "But it was not. What that question meant to me was, `Will you leave with me?' I was appalled by that question."
The woman said she responded by saying "Yes . . . how's it running? And he said, `Fine,' and left."