A vocal instructor at a community college in Washington allegedly asked a female high school student to remove her clothes during lessons, and later masturbated while she played the piano.
The woman, who was 17 years old at the time and earning college credit as a high school student, sued the teacher, Kevin Gausepohl, for taking advantage of her sexually. She also sued the state of Washington on the grounds that Tacoma Community College (TCC) failed to protect her.
Gausepohl claimed that he was studying how sexual arousal interacts with vocal range. The woman said she removed some of her clothes and touched herself upon his request.
At another session, he masturbated while she practiced the piano, she charges.
The college investigated accusations of sexual misconduct made by several students against Gausepohl in 2011.
“These students became concerned that defendant Gausepohl was sexually exploiting the plaintiff, and they reported it to TCC authorities in the spring of 2011,” the lawsuit says, according to The Bellingham Herald.
Officials concluded that he had likely violated the college’s sexual harassment policies, and terminated him. Criminal prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges if he broke no more laws for a year. Gausepohl complied with the orders, though he vigorously maintained that he was innocent.
Most students gave Gausepohl positive reviews on the teacher rating site ratemyprofessor.com, though one accused the vocal instructor of having “a problem with disciplining his class and being a friend instead of an instructor.” Several other reviews mentioned that he behaved more like a friend than a teacher.
Gausepohl is also a religious leader at Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, according to The Daily Mail.
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