A woman is suing a Southland college and a professor who worked there, alleging the latter sexually assaulted her at his home when she was a teenage student in his class in the 1970s.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was filed Thursday and alleges childhood sexual abuse of the 58-year-old plaintiff, who is seeking unspecified damages. The suit identifies the college and professor only as Doe 1 and Doe 2, respectively, but does say the school is a public institution in Los Angeles County.
The plaintiff was a student in the professor’s biology class during the 1977-78 school year, according to her court papers, which say she was a “a very bright child” who passed a proficiency exam allowing her to enroll in the college at age 15.
The professor asked the plaintiff to stay seated after the second class session, the suit states. When she told him she was 15 years old, he asked, “How’d you get to college? Are you really 15?,” according to the suit, which alleges he also asked, “Are you excited to see me or are you just cold?”
The professor recruited the plaintiff for the college’s marine biology field program in Baja California, and when she said she could not afford the trip, he said she could attend if she cleaned his home, according to the suit.
The plaintiff accepted, and when she got to his residence, he instructed her to hand strip and hand wax the walls and the floors, according to her court papers. He later built a fire in the fireplace and made margaritas for the two of them, the suit says.
After the plaintiff was intoxicated, the professor sexually assaulted her, the suit alleges. The plaintiff alleges he did the same thing to her during five other visits to his home, each time giving her alcohol.
The plaintiff became “sad, dejected and disgusted because she was abused and exploited by the professor,” and left the college, the suit says. She never attended the field study program in marine biology in Baja California, nor did she complete her education and have the type of life she would have had if the professor did not abuse her, the suit alleges.
The suit alleges the college failed to take “reasonable, prudent and careful care of the minor children it had agreed to educate and supervise.”