Student says former Columbia dean coerced her, sues school

August 29, 2018 - 6:00 pm

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.