Rampant sex harassment headlines searing suit against ex-San Joaquin Valley College instructor

A lawsuit lays out incalculable, sensational claims of dogged sexual harassment by one San Joaquin Valley College instructor.

Eight women have filed a lawsuit against a former San Joaquin Valley College professor alleging sexual harassment and unwanted touching during class. 

The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday by Los Angeles based law firm Makarem & Associates. 


The big picture: The eight women, who attended the surgical technology program ranging from 2021-2024, allege that professor Trevor Doyle was allowed to continue working at the school despite their complaints of harassment and inappropriate conduct. 

  • They allege that Doyle made discriminatory and harassing comments to them in class. 
  • The lawsuit states that Doyle resigned his job in April 2023. 
  • Claims include sexual harassment, sexual battery and sexual assault. 
  • The women are also suing San Joaquin Valley College as part of the lawsuit, alleging the school knowingly hired an unfit professor, failed to train other professors for sexual harassment protocal and failed to investigate their various claims. The school, the women claim, allowed the harassment to fester. 

Go deeper: Four of the students, who were in Doyle’s class that began in July 2021, allege that he gave one of them the nickname “hall pass.”

  • They allege that Doyle showed a student a photo of a woman with large breasts in a bikini saying that she was one of his previous students and referred to female students as “bitches” and discussing his sex life in front of the students. 
  • They also claim that Doyle would make comments such as “damn” as he stared at their bodies while they walked by or were bent over. 
  • Doyle allegedly asked several of the women to go to drinks with him multiple times and also commented on their appearances and what they were wearing. 
  • He also offered to get a hotel room in San Diego for several of the women, where they would go out for drinks and do cocaine. 
  • One of the women alleges that Doyle would be “all over that” – referring to the size of her breasts – if she was not in a relationship. 
  • Another woman claims Doyle pulled her aside during class and told her that he could not take his eyes off her breasts  bouncing in class. 

Inappropriate touching: Along with the alleged comments, the women claim that Doyle touched them without their consent. 

  • That includes touching their hips under the guise of tying their lab gowns, blocking a narrow hallway so their bodies rubbed up against his when they walked by, standing or sitting so close to them that his body touched theirs, rubbing up against their shoulders and putting his arm around them. 

Complaints and retaliation: The women complained to the college about Doyle’s behavior and say in the lawsuit that nothing was done. 

  • They also complained about his inappropriate relationship with another student, who they claim received favorable treatment. 
  • After the complaints, Doyle retaliated against them by giving them low and inaccurate grades, ignored them in class and refused to assist them with class material. 
  • “Defendant Doyle rolled his eyes at several Plaintiffs when they raised their hands and told them to ‘shut up’ on various occasions,” the lawsuit reads. 

Additional allegations: The other four students were in Doyle’s class that began in October 2022 and claim to be subjected to the same routine harassment that the other women were. 

  • They claim Doyle told one of them that her “ass looks fat in that dress,” and winked at another while offering private tutoring. 
  • Doyle asked one of the women why she had to get engaged without giving him a chance, asked one of them why she was so sexy and asked one if she takes birth control. 
  • When they would bend down during class, he would allegedly say things to the effect of,  “Damn girl, why you gotta tease me like that?” He would also say, “Damn, you look good in those scrubs today.” 
  • The lawsuit claims that Doyle told one of them that he was distracted by her butt and told one that he loves to watch her walk in front of him “because he loves watching her hips and ass.” 
  • They also claim that he touched one woman’s breasts while pretending to reach across her for supplies, would repeatedly poke one woman in the stomach, attempted to kiss one woman when she was alone in a classroom, kissed one woman in an elevator, kissed one woman while she was standing outside of her car and rubbed one woman’s leg when demonstrating where the fibula is located. 

What they’re saying: “The heart of this matter lies in the duty of educational institutions to provide a safe and secure environment for their students,” said Makarem & Associates attorney Alexis Hames. “Our eight clients have taken a courageous stand not only for themselves but also to protect future students from potential harm. It is our hope that this lawsuit will not only bring justice for those who have already suffered but also serve as a catalyst for positive change within SJVC and other educational institutions.” 

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