Rape allegation: Sorbonne professor in riot regardless of dismissal

In February 2019, a rape complaint against a Paris 1 teacher was filed by a student who had participated in an excavation site in Oman. (©MAM/news Paris)

His return should be discreet. In the end it was awesome. Laurent*, Professor of Archeology at the University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonnewas reinstated at the beginning of October 2022. The lecturer was from the administration after a Rape complaint submitted by a student in February 2019, following the revelations of media part.

Contacted by Paris Newsthe bottom of Nanterre points out that the court case was the subject a termination, June 21, 2021. Acquitted by the judiciary, nothing compels Laurent to quit his job. But the scolding of some students hurt by this clandestine return could change the situation.

“Your teacher is a rapist”

“Laurent, get out of here! College is not yours! Dirty rapist”. The words are tapped in white chalk on the blackboard of a university amphitheater. In this video, posted on November 10, 2022 by the Interuniversity Antifascist Coordination on Twitter, students gather on the doorstep “to prevent Laurent from teaching”.

On the same day, a second video was released by the Paris 1 Feminist Committee. In these pictures masked people burst into another lecture by this specialist for the ancient Orient. “Your teacher is a rapist! one of them shouts. Again, the teacher’s name is on the board, followed by the words “rapist.”

This is the extremely difficult climate in which the controversial return of Laurent, who was accused of rape by a student in 2019, took place. two guards on behalf of the university even temporarily stationed in front of the gates of the amphitheater where the university teaches. Everything to prevent possible overflows.

University silence

“I see in it the symbol of a systemic problem as far as higher education is concerned: teachers are protected by the institution,” analyzes Lorelia, a student elected to the Paris 1 University Life Commission.

“We understand the students’ anger. This professor was reinstated without consultation, says this member of the Marxist collective the raised fist. There was no transparency of the University Board of Directors on what has been done to support his return and ensure the safety of the students”.

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In a necessarily explosive context, no press release was actually sent from the university to the researcher’s students. Those who were not necessarily aware of their liabilities 3 years after his suspension. Many see it as a desire to silence an embarrassing situation.

“It was an email from students that brought me up to speed,” says Julie*, a first-year student. All the better as I tend to go to the teachers at the end of the tutorials to ask questions. Now I know I wouldn’t do it with him to protect me.”

“I’m not against his return”

The email in question that could consult Paris Newswas published on August 28, 2022 by the Paris 1 Feminist Committee. Let’s inform,” the feminist collective wrote.

“I understand that this dismissal is complex to manage, but I don’t understand the silence of the administration,” Julie believes for her part. Personally, I find it difficult to believe in his innocence I’m not against his return. Basically, I am not against the rehabilitation of criminals.”

“Facts don’t matter anymore”

However, Laurent is not in the eyes of the law. According to our information a dismissal order was issued in June 2021. A decision was upheld at second instance after the complainant’s appeal. Contacted by Paris Newshis lawyer Jessica Finelle Fumes.

It is extremely worrying that students feel they know better than those who have researched and judged. It’s an impressive step backwards: the facts no longer count against their beliefs.

And to get involved: “These decisions were not made in favor of the giftshee, but because these four judges – four women – forged their conviction based on facts, text messages, testimonies, expert opinions. These judges very clearly underlined the multiple contradictions of the plaintiff and her propensity for confabulation. »

A first warning in 2013

What exactly was the scientist accused of? The first facts come from December 2013 and January 2014 during an archaeological excavation mission in Oman (Algeria). At the construction site, the professor “several times invited one of his students over in his bedroom at nightrefers to a judgment of the State Council of December 18, 2017.

Meetings that didn’t lead to it sex, but to gestures that go beyond “the framework of a friendly relationship”. These facts, known to the university at the time, were sanctioned on June 30, 2014 by lowering one grade of the teacher. A decision of the Disciplinary Department, which was challenged by Laurent in the Higher Administrative Court, without success.

An allegation of rape during a dig site

However, five years later, in 2019, a new excavation will be organized as part of the faculty in Oman. And always in the presence of Laurent. In February of the same year, a Rape complaint is filed against the teacher by a student who participated in this mission.

In response, the university “seized its disciplinary department, which sentenced the teacher to a practice prohibition any teaching or research function in a higher education and research institution with a loss of salary for three years,” reads the statement from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris News.

And to add: “The disciplinary punishment that will be carried out from now on lies with the university has no choice reinstated as his teacher-researcher in accordance with the law”. However, an appeal against this disciplinary decision is pending.

“Cowardice of the University”

On the horizon, the case seems far from settled. And the situation seems hopeless, both for the students and for the professor, whose courses are already largely boycotted. “We plan to continue until we get concrete answers. We can’t believe it’s impossible for the administration substitute “, write in a press release the students of the double license in art history and archeology.

On the side of Laurent’s defence, we castigate that “Cowardice of the University”. “She is largely responsible for this situation by not informing the students of the existence of the dismissal and creating a climate of opacity that is prone to controversy,” Jessica Finelle points out. My client is alive a double injusticeand I’m particularly worried about him.”

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