Content warning: This article has mentions situations of sexual harassment and assault.
A former Marshall School of Business student is suing USC and a former professor she worked for over allegations of sexual harassment and assault. The conduct spanned three years and is alleged to have been perpetrated on other women who held similar student assistant jobs, according to the lawsuit filed through the Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday.
Professor C.W. Park, the Robert E. Brooker professor of marketing and the director of the Global Branding Center, is named in the suit, facing charges including sexual abuse and harassment, civil rights violations, failure to prevent discrimination and harassment, gender violence, sexual assault and battery and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
The plaintiff, unnamed in the suit, was hired to be Park’s student assistant in August 2016, and, from then on, targeted by Park who “used his position of power and authority over (the plaintiff) to repeatedly sexually abuse, assault and harass her on USC’s premises,” according to the complaint.
The suit also alleges that three other women, all Korean American like Park, faced the same violence as undergraduate student assistants. The filing points to previous complaints by other students to establish USC’s culpability.
According to the suit, USC knew Park had a “dangerous propensity to sexually assault and harass USC’s young female students before it hired (the plaintiff) to serve as Park’s student assistant.”
The plaintiff seeks compensatory and punitive damages, alleging that her employment and financial development suffered irreparable harm due to the abuse. The suit states that Park limited the opportunities she had to speak with a supervisor about the conduct, and was “limited in her ability to meaningfully interact with others due to the trauma of this molestation and abuse.”
Though they have not yet been served with the lawsuit, USC is aware of the filing and issued a statement that the school “takes allegations of sexual harassment very seriously, and when reports are filed, [the University has] a comprehensive process for reviewing them and for providing supportive measures to involved parties through our Office for Equity, Equal Opportunity, and Title IX.”
Park did not respond to the Daily Trojan’s request for comment in time for publication.