Last November a report by EdSource revealed Fresno City College instructor Tom Boroujeni committed an act of sexual violence against a professor, according to an internal investigation.
Now, Boroujeni is telling his side of the story, as he posted on Medium.
The backstory: According to the report, Boroujeni committed sexual violence in 2015, as determined by a 2020 Title IX investigation that Fresno State had opened when he was a graduate student at the university.
- At the time, Boroujeni was also a part-time instructor at Fresno State and at Fresno City College.
- The alleged victim, the part time professor at Fresno City College, reached a $53,000 settlement with Fresno State last February after she claimed the university did not do enough to protect her.
- Fresno City College placed Boroujeni on administrative leave after the report was published.
Boroujeni’s side: In his blog post, Boroujeni said the Title IX investigation filed against him was lodged in response and in retaliation to a Title IX investigation that he had initially filed. He had filed that investigation against Fresno State for replacing him as debate coach with someone with little experience.
- Boroujeni notes that Fresno State professor Katherine Adams filed the Title IX investigation into him immediately after being interviewed in the investigation that he had started, which named her as an influential figure in the decision to remove him as debate coach.
- His blog post goes back to the beginning of the story in 2014, when he began his graduate studies in Fresno State. In the spring of 2015 he took a required course taught by the alleged victim and said a pattern emerged involving her and Adams that was a “witch hunt” against students of color.
- “The racial climate in the department was so toxic that, in my opinion, it contributed to the departure of prominent faculty,” Boroujeni wrote. “I witnessed several faculty of color and students experience racial harassment in the department.”
- Boroujeni said he was a favored student by the two, who would discuss other students’ confidential academic records.
- “The mental anguish these students suffered, and the scale of the impact, have been a heavy burden that I haven’t come to terms with, even today,” Boroujeni wrote. “I routinely have night terrors about being in that environment again.”
- The alleged victim started making romantic advances, Boroujeni said, which left him feeling isolated and threatened, leading him to acquiesce to her as a survival strategy.
- Boroujeni details the night of June 21, when the incident occurred, saying he “felt somewhat compelled to have sex” with the alleged victim. He later felt coerced into being in a relationship with her for over a year.
- Boroujeni also addresses the three Fresno City College investigations involving him, which relate to his conduct as the President of the Academic Senate.