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Court supports professors in sexual harassment case

Date Posted: 2005-04-01

The plaintiff claimed sexual harassment against five university professors and instructors, seeking ¥30,000,000 damages.

A Tokyo District Court this week rejected the woman’s claim, awarding her only ¥55,000 for having been “touched lightly on the shoulder” by a professor. The woman, a student at Okinawa Prefecture’s Art and Music University in Shuri, had charged the five men with sexual harassment, alleging they forced her to have repeated relationships with her. She told the Court they coerced her to stay with them at hotels, causing her mental and physical pain.

The Court dismissed most of the charges outright. The woman’s lawyer, Tamotsu Okuda, says “Justice had certified only the professor’s action of touching her shoulder, and she felt badly about his action.”

More importantly, the defendents said, the Court rejected the woman’s sexual harassment charges. “She and the professor had agreed to a relationship,” said one attorney for the professors. The woman’s attorney took the opposing view, saying “that’s not what this is about. She is asking and wanting justice for them overstepping their bounds. We are very disappointed about the sentence.”

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