Utah State investigates sex assault claim against professor
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah State University piano professor has been removed from his teaching duties as the college investigates a sexual assault allegation made against him in a recent lawsuit.
University President Noelle Cockett said Wednesday in a statement that professor Dennis Hirst’s students will be reassigned to other faculty members this fall semester as the college investigates the claims.
A former student accused Hirst in a lawsuit filed this month of sexually assaulting her in 1994 when she was a 17-year-old student and he was a 23-year-old teacher at a pre-college piano instruction program at the college.
Hirst didn’t return an email and phone call seeking comment. No attorney is listed for him.
The college previously found that students in the music department had faced sexism and a “disturbing” pattern of sexual violence and psychological abuse by faculty.