Monday 22 July 2019

Bat-sex lecturer to face fresh hearing over leak

Katherine Donnelly

UNIVERSITY College Cork (UCC) has started fresh disciplinary proceedings against the lecturer at the centre of the 'sex life of fruit bats' controversy.

Dr Dylan Evans said the college told him it was taking action because of his "apparent involvement" in disclosing confidential information to the media.

The move follows an online frenzy, which has attracted international attention, over the alleged sexual harassment by Dr Evans of a female colleague in the UCC School of Medicine.

Dr Rossana Salerno Kennedy complained about Dr Evans's attitude and behaviour towards her, which she said culminated in him showing her an article on oral sex by fruit bats in November 2009.

Dr Evans, a lecturer in behavioural science, said the article, which had appeared in an academic journal, was of scientific interest and he showed it to a number of people -- only one of whom complained.

Documents relating to the sexual harassment case have been posted on social networking websites, provoking fury among the college authorities who claim confidentiality has been breached.

Dr Evans denies that he was responsible for leaking the documents -- which include Dr Salerno Kennedy's written complaint, Dr Evans's reply and the findings of an external team of investigators.

"It wasn't me," Dr Evans told the Irish Independent last night. He said he had passed the matter over to his lawyers, who had advised him not to comment.

UCC will now set up a disciplinary hearing committee to investigate Dr Evans. The college disciplinary procedures provide for a range of possible sanctions, including suspension, demotion, or, ultimately, dismissal.

Dr Evans is already subject to a period of monitoring and counselling arising from Dr Salerno Kennedy's complaints, which he fears will have implications for his gaining tenure at the college.


There was no further comment from UCC yesterday.

In her letter of complaint, Dr Salerno Kennedy said the incident in question was "not the first time Dr Evans has raised sexual subjects with me" and on that day she felt his behaviour was "inappropriate and offensive".

College investigators found that Dr Evans produced email evidence that cast "serious doubts" on some of Dr Salerno Kennedy's evidence. They rejected her complaints about the period before November 2, but upheld the complaint about the fruit bats article.

They ruled that the action was a joke with sexual innuendo and it was reasonable for her to be offended by being presented with the article when she was alone in her office, although it was not Dr Evans's intention to cause offence.

Irish Independent

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