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Lawsuit against MSU alleging Title IX violations, late MSU professor

April 7, 2020
<p>Beaumont Tower photographed on May 15, 2019.</p>

Beaumont Tower photographed on May 15, 2019.

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

A lawsuit alleging Title IX violations has been filed against Michigan State University, according to court documents. The lawsuit stems from alleged incidents between 1975 and 1984.

The lawsuit alleges that late professor Harold Marcus sexually harassed two MSU students, a Ph.D. candidate at the time and an undergraduate student who became a university employee after, according to the lawsuit. The former students are now married.

The lawsuit stands on the premise that the university reportedly violated Title IX by failing to supervise Marcus and investigate sexually-based claims against him.

According to court documents, Marcus allegedly used his position as an MSU advisor to hinder the progress of the Ph.D. candidate's degree, while also sexually harassing him about his now wife.

Marcus allegedly sexually assaulted, abused and molested the other plaintiff when she was an undergraduate student, according to the lawsuit.

"Marcus used his position of trust and confidence in an abusive manner causing Plaintiffs to suffer a variety of injuries including shock, humiliation, emotional distress and related physical manifestations thereof, embarrassment, loss of self-esteem, disgrace, and loss of enjoyment of life," the lawsuit stated.

The plaintiff began working as an employee at MSU in 1984. According to court documents, she reported Dr. Richard Chapin for misconduct, alleging he had shown her and other female employees pornographic magazines and inquired about their sexual lives.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff reported Dr. Chapin's behavior to her supervisor and was told to not bring it up again if she wanted to keep her job.

The lawsuit lists the university as a defendant due to these alleged Title IX violations.

MSU was unavailable for comment at this time.

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