Review panel recommends lifetime ban for former U.Va. professor accused of sexual assault

English professor John Casey could be permanently banned from Grounds for Title IX violations

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Former English Prof. John Casey retired from the University last December following allegations of sexual assault.

Courtesy University of Virginia

A review panel concluded last Wednesday that retired University English Prof. John Casey should be issued a permanent no-trespass order after being found responsible for multiple Title IX violations.

Last January, a University investigator determined that Casey had harassed two former female graduate students in the University’s creative writing program but did not have sufficient evidence that the encounter was non-consensual. Last week, a review panel upheld the determination, writing that “removal of him from the university community is necessary.”

The review panel also found that Casey’s behavior “had a profound impact within the [Master of Fine Arts] Program over multiple years.”

Tom Katsouleas, executive vice president and University provost, will make the final decision on the panel’s recommendation to ban Casey from Grounds.

In May 2018, Lisa Schievelbein, a former University student, alleged that Casey had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her in 2001 while she was his student. She told investigators Casey had asked inappropriate questions and made sexual- and gender-based comments at a professional dinner, then assaulted her in his car. 

According to a letter written in November 2018 to Katsouleas, which summarized the results of the investigation, the Title IX Review Panel unanimously recommended termination of employment, finding Casey’s conduct to be “reprehensible” and “clearly a violation” of University policy.

The panel determined that Casey kissed and touched Schievelbein one night even though those actions were unwelcomed by her and that the two had sexual intercourse while Schievelbein was still his student. 

However, due to the evidence presented, the review panel did not find that they had sufficient support for the claim that Casey had repeatedly coerced Schievelbein into non-consensual intercourse.

Three other students also filed complaints of sexual misconduct against Casey since November 2017.

Casey, a 79-year-old fiction writer, chose to retire in December following the allegations, although he denies Schievelbein’s claims. He took a leave of absence from the University when the allegations first surfaced.

In addition to recommending Casey be banned from Grounds, the review panel recommends Casey be made ineligible for a paid or unpaid position at the University and that the English department faculty take Title IX training in an effort to reduce discrimination on the basis of sex — including sexual assault, rape and sexual harassment.

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prejudice on the basis of sex in any education program/activity that receives federal funding is prohibited.

The University last issued trespass warnings to 10 white supremacists in connection to the Aug. 2017 Unite the Right rally. The policy bans the individuals from Grounds for four years. 

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