In April 2021, a former USC student filed a lawsuit against the university and its tenured Marshall School of Business professor, Choong Whan Park, alleging a pattern of sexual assault and harassment that spanned over three years. The lawsuit, which has since gained national attention, has raised serious concerns about USC’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations and its commitment to protecting its students.
Allegations Against C.W. Park
The lawsuit, filed by Jane Doe, alleges that Park, a renowned professor in the field of consumer behavior, targeted female students of Korean descent, using his position of power to exploit and abuse them. The plaintiff claims that Park subjected her to a series of non-consensual sexual advances, including unwanted touching, hugging, kissing, and groping, accompanied by degrading and sexually suggestive comments.
The lawsuit further alleges that Park engaged in a pattern of discriminatory and harassing behavior, creating a hostile learning environment for female students. He is accused of making inappropriate remarks about their physical appearance, discussing his sexual fantasies, and pressuring them to engage in social activities outside of school, often involving alcohol.
USC’s Alleged Negligence
The lawsuit also names USC as a defendant, alleging that the university failed to adequately address previous complaints of sexual misconduct against Park. The plaintiff claims that USC had knowledge of Park’s predatory behavior but failed to take appropriate disciplinary action, allowing him to continue to abuse his position and harm students.
The lawsuit points to a 2018 Title IX investigation into Park’s conduct, which resulted in a finding of sexual harassment. However, the investigation reportedly led to no significant disciplinary action, and Park was allowed to continue teaching and interacting with students.
The Ongoing Legal Proceedings
The C.W. Park USC lawsuit is currently in the pre-trial phase, with both parties engaged in discovery and motions practice. The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the emotional distress, humiliation, and lost academic opportunities she allegedly suffered as a result of Park’s actions.
USC has denied the allegations against the university, stating that it “promptly and appropriately” investigated the complaints against Park and took appropriate disciplinary action. The university maintains that it is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all students and has taken steps to strengthen its Title IX policies and procedures.
Impact on the USC Community
The C.W. Park USC lawsuit has had a significant impact on the university community, sparking conversations about sexual misconduct, institutional responsibility, and the experiences of marginalized students. The lawsuit has also raised questions about USC’s handling of Title IX investigations and its commitment to transparency and accountability.
The C.W. Park USC lawsuit is a complex and sensitive case that has brought to light serious allegations of sexual abuse and institutional neglect. The outcome of the lawsuit could have significant implications for USC and for universities across the country.
- What is the status of the C.W. Park USC lawsuit?
The lawsuit is currently in the pre-trial phase.
- What is the plaintiff seeking?
The plaintiff is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
- What has USC’s response been to the lawsuit?
USC has denied the allegations and stated that it took appropriate disciplinary action against Park.
- What impact has the lawsuit had on the USC community?
The lawsuit has sparked conversations about sexual misconduct, institutional responsibility, and the experiences of marginalized students.