Archive for Saturday, October 21, 2006

Multiple women said ex-college president also touched them

October 21, 2006

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— Multiple women reported that the former president of Johnson County Community College touched them inappropriately, according to a statement from the school's board of trustees.

Charles Carlsen retired as president in April after the college newspaper, The Campus Ledger, published an article detailing sexual harassment allegations that a female worker, Teresa Lee, first made three years ago.

Carlsen said he did nothing wrong, and through his attorney he also denied the allegations revealed Thursday.

The attorney, Fred Logan, said Carlsen thinks people who know him and have worked with him will reject the claims.

The statement from the school's board of trustees, released Thursday, said "a few" women interviewed during an independent investigation reported that from the late 1990s to early 2005, they had been touched in a manner similar to that reported by Lee, who claimed that Carlsen had repeatedly brushed her breast with his elbow or forearm.

"They said that they concluded that the conduct was not inadvertent or accidental because it was repeated," the statement said. "A few other women confirmed what they called inappropriate conduct by Carlsen during this same time period but declined to specifically describe the conduct or answer other specific statements about it."

Trustees met privately for four hours before voting 4-1 to release the statement.

All the women said the conduct occurred while they worked at the community college, the statement said. Their allegations had never been reported to the college "under the college procedure or as a legal claim against the college," the statement said.

Carlsen canceled a scheduled interview and ended his participation in the independent investigation before attorneys Betsy Badger and Theresa Levings could ask him about the other women's allegations, the statement said.

The statement also addressed allegations that Lee had given a written narrative documenting the incidents to trustee Elaine Perilla in 2004. The statement said Lee and Perilla disagree about whether that happened.

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