Creative writing professor charged with felony strangulation, misdemeanor simple domestic battery

Prof. Jeffery Allen placed on administrative leave with pay

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Prof. Jeffrey Allen was arrested Nov. 7, 2018 for felony strangulation and misdemeanor assault on a family member. Courtesy Charlottesville Police Department

English Prof. Jeffery Allen was charged with felony strangulation and misdemeanor simple domestic battery in November. 

According to an article published Saturday by The Daily Progress, deputy University spokesperson Wes Hester said Allen was still an “active employee” of the University. But on Monday, University spokesperson Anthony de Bruyn confirmed that the University has learned of the charges against Allen and has placed him on administrative leave with pay, “pending a full review of this matter.”

“Administrative leave is not punitive in nature and this action by the University is not a finding of wrongdoing by Professor Allen,” de Bruyn said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Beyond this, the University will not publicly comment on the pending criminal process or the corresponding personnel matter.”

According to the English department website, Allen was scheduled to teach ENCW 3610 — Intermediate Fiction Writing — this semester.

On Nov. 7, officers were called to the University Medical Center emergency room. There, the alleged victim — a female family member of Allen’s — reported he had strangled her to the point where she felt as if she could no longer breathe. Police found scratch marks on her neck.

Allen was arrested the next day.

Allen had hearings Dec. 7 and Jan. 14 in Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Born in Chicago, the novelist and poet earned his Ph.D. in English-Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Chicago before teaching at Queens College in New York City for 20 years. He joined University faculty in 2016. 

Allen’s next court appearances are scheduled for Feb. 15 and Feb. 20.

Elizabeth Denton — director of the Area Program in Literary Prose in which Allen is a faculty member — declined a request for comment from The Cavalier Daily. Allen did not respond to a request for comment from The Cavalier Daily.

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