Student accuses Notre Dame academic coach of racial discrimination, sexual harassment in lawsuit against university

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

A Notre Dame student is suing the university for racial discrimination, sexual harassment and negligence.

The plaintiff claims he was pressured into a sexual relationship with the daughter of a female academic coach.

The plaintiff was enrolled into the University of Notre Dame in the fall of 2014 on an academic scholarship and began receiving guidance and support by the defendant in the spring of 2015, according to the lawsuit.

The university employee “immediately orchestrated, initiated, directed and coordinated a sexually and racially-motivated inappropriate and demeaning relationship with the plaintiff” which included “commanding, directing, encouraging and convincing the student to engage in sexual relations” with the defendant’s own daughter, according to the lawsuit.

The relationship included arranging for sexual liaisons, interrogating the student about the nature, frequency and quality of the sexual activities, harassing and demeaning the student with racially-charged comments about his prowess, pressuring the student to remain in the relationship against his will, providing lodging, transportation, hotel rooms and condoms for sexual excursions across state lines, and engaging in threatening behavior toward the plaintiff as he attempted to end the sexual relationship with the daughter, the lawsuit states.

In the lawsuit, the defendant is accused of using her position to initiate similar situations with other African-American male students, including several academically coached members of the University’s football and basketball teams.

The suit also states that Notre Dame officials knew or should have known of the situations and failed to take appropriate action to remedy the hostile environment.

“Notre Dame is aware of the lawsuit and “denies that it engaged in any wrongdoing,” according to Paul Browne, vice president of public affairs and communications, as reported by the South Bend Tribune.

The employee’s daughter is a student at a nearby school and also works at Notre Dame, the Tribune reported.