Former UNA professor accused of sexual assault loses teaching job in Denver after allegations

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — A former University of North Alabama professor identified in a lawsuit filed by a student accusing the school of covering up her sexual assault, is no longer employed at a Denver university where he’d moved on to teach international business.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan State University of Denver told WHNT News 19, “I can confirm as of Tuesday, Aug. 15, Dr. David Dickerson is no longer an employee of MSU Denver.”

The Denver university told WHNT News 19 last Friday that Dickerson was employed there, that they had become of aware of the allegations made public August 10th, and they were looking into the allegations in the lawsuit. Dickerson was previously listed as a new hire in November of 2016.

The university said today it would not comment on personnel matters, such as the circumstances of Dickerson’s departure from the school or how long he’d been employed there. It’s not clear what changed, but as of August 1st, Dickerson was listed as a “tenure track” professor, suggesting he was in line for a possible permanent assignment.

The lawsuit was filed August 8th, by the student identified as Jane Doe. It accuses Dickerson of sexually assaulting the woman several times on a university-sponsored trip to Orlando in 2015. The lawsuit alleges the university was aware of the incident but did nothing to punish Dickerson and instead allowed him to finish out his contract.

UNA disputed the lawsuits claim in two statements issued last week. The first offered an aggressive defense of the school.

The initial statement, released last Friday reads, in part:

“We note the lawsuit allegations date back to 2015. Despite the passage of years, UNA is aware of no criminal charges against the professor the plaintiff accuses of sexual assault in her civil lawsuit seeking money damages from UNA.

“One of the privileges of our legal system is that courts are open to all citizens. Our courts are even open to those who may misuse their right to initiate litigation for the purpose of extorting money with baseless allegations calculated to damage reputations and inflame public opinion.

“UNA is proud our American justice system also affords civil defendants an opportunity to set the record straight at the courthouse, and the University intends to take full advantage of that opportunity, in this case.”

The second statement, released Sunday, again disputed that the university failed to respond to the student’s concerns, but also acknowledged a problem with Dickerson:

“Upon notice of the alleged misconduct, the University reached out to the student and conducted an investigation. The University concluded that, in the fall of 2015 the faculty member had violated University policy regarding faculty/student relationships.

“As a result, the faculty member was removed from the classroom, and ordered to stay away from campus and to avoid contact with students. The faculty member is no longer employed by the university.”