UCLA Community Protests Professor’s Punishment for Sex Harassment: $3,000 Fine and Quarter Off

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Students and other members of the UCLA community gather on the Westwood campus to protest the university's handling of sexual harassment complaints made against history professor Gabriel Piterberg. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

UCLA students, faculty and alumni are escalating their complaints against the university over its decision to allow a prominent history professor accused of sexual harassment to return to campus with what they regard as inadequate sanctions.

More than 75 students and supporters rallied Wednesday to protest the decision involving Gabriel Piterberg, a Mideast specialist who joined the UCLA faculty in 1999. Two female graduate students have accused Piterberg of repeatedly harassing them over many years by making sexual comments, pressing himself against their bodies and forcing his tongue into their mouths.

The students, Nefertiti Takla and Kristen Glasgow, have filed a federal lawsuit against the UC regents for failing to take sufficient action regarding their complaints.

UCLA launched an internal investigation and quietly settled with Piterberg in 2014. But the sanctions were not revealed to faculty members until January, more than a year later.

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