UC Berkeley Fires Assistant Professor for Sexual Harassment

The school’s Title IX investigation found “clear and convincing evidence” that Blake Wentworth had engaged in misconduct.

The University of California, Berkeley has fired one of its assistant professors for allegedly sexually harassing four students.

The assistant professor has been identified at Blake Wentworth, and he was formerly a member of the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies, reports NBC Bay Area.

The decision to fire him was the result of a Title IX investigation. According to a statement by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, investigators found “clear and convincing evidence that Wentworth had engaged in the misconduct and recommended his dismissal.” Because the former assistant professor was not tenured, Dirks was able to fire him without approval from the Board of Regents, reports berkeleyside.com. His dismissal was effective immediately.

Wentworth was put on leave in 2016 after three women – two graduate students and an alumna – accused him of sexual harassment in April and June of that year. All three claimed he touched them inappropriately and made offensive comments. Wentworth allegedly said to one of the graduate students, “I’m so attracted to you,” and bragged about doing drugs off of a stripper’s body, reports the Guardian. The identity of the fourth victim – a student – is not known.

Wentworth’s firing is the latest in a string of issues related to sexual misconduct by UC Berkeley faculty. In March, the University of California system released the sexual misconduct files of more than 100 cases involving faculty and staff members across nine of its campuses last week. The previously-confidential files revealed a troubling pattern of inconsistent punishment for faculty members found to have violated sexual misconduct policies in the UC system.

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