A university lecturer has filed a complaint of sexual harassment against a colleague who showed her an article on the sex life of bats.
Dr Rossana Salerno, a highly regarded expert on clinical nutrition and lecturer at University College Cork was outraged having been shown an article on the sexual acts of fruit flies.
The offending coworker, Dr Dylan Evans, showed Dr Salerno and article, published in an academic journal, on how fruit bats prolong copulation via oral sex. Dr Evans said that he showed the article to a number of colleagues that day, only one of whom complained.
In her letter of complaint to the University Dr Salerno said that this was “not the first time Dr Evans has raised sexual subjects with me." She felt his behavior was "inappropriate and offensive.” An external team is now investigating the complaints.
Dr Dylan has demanded that the sanctions imposed on him be reversed. He has had a two-year period of intensive monitoring and counseling imposed on him after he showed his colleague the scientific article.
He now fears that these sanctions might affect his tenure at the University. Though the investigating team upheld the complaint about the fruit bat article incident they did not believe that Dr Evans wished to cause offense.
The matter became public when the complaint and details of the investigation became public on various website. The University has reacted angrily to the fact that the matter was made public.
University College Cork said they viewed the matter “with the utmost gravity the fact that confidential documentation concerning an internal allegation of sexual harassment was posted to social media platforms, in contravention of university policy".
They insisted that "the rights of staff who may wish to take similar action in future would also be affected, were confidentiality to be broken."
Dr Evans has said that he was not responsible for leaking the documents involved in the case. However he has now launched an online petition for the reversal of the sanctions held against him.
He said that he has received letters of support from high ranking academics including Professor Patrick Bateson, Provost of King's College Cambridge.