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Student says former Columbia dean coerced her, sues school

August 29, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A Columbia University student who says she was coerced into a sexual relationship with a former dean and the university failed to protect her has filed a $50 million lawsuit against the school.

The suit was filed in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The plaintiff, identified as “Jane Doe,” says she went to the university for help after being raped in May and was sent to Tom Harford, a dean of students at one of Columbia’s three undergraduate schools, because she needed emergency housing.

She says he manipulated her into a sexual relationship through her need for scholarship funding.

Columbia says it can’t comment on litigation, but that Harford was removed from his position when officials learned of “unacceptable” behavior.

Harford could not be reached for comment.

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