University News

This Week in Higher Ed: April 14, 2015

University News Editor
Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sexual misconduct claims filed against former Yale nephrology professor

Rex Mahnensmith, a former nephrology professor at the Yale School of Medicine, has been accused of committing several acts of sexual assault between 2002 and 2013, while he was director of the New Haven Dialysis Clinic, the New York Times reported Monday.

Seven current and former employees at the clinic filed two federal cases against the doctor, Yale and the center, which is run by the Denver-based company DaVita. The plaintiffs claim that the doctor made inappropriate sexual gestures at or near them, but that DaVita administrators ignored complaints in order to maintain the company’s favorable contract with Yale.

“This has been going on for years … but staff were just told to try and work around him,” Jennifer Zito, a lawyer representing six of the plaintiffs, told the Times. Yale was presented with a preliminary complaint in March 2014 and removed Mahnensmith from the faculty that April. But Mahnensmith still currently works at HealthTap, an online medical practice, the Times reported. Mahnensmith has also been accused of prescribing certain drugs, such as narcotics, to patients in order to encourage them to have procedures done at the center, said Elizabeth Chiapperino, a former DaVita facilities manager, the Times reported. Chiapperino resigned after a DaVita vice president ignored her complaints of being harassed by Mahnensmith.

Shooting at Wayne Community College leaves school employee dead

A former Wayne Community College student shot and killed print shop operator Ron Lane on campus in Goldsboro, North Carolina Monday, NBC News reported. The shooting occurred near the school library after the suspect entered campus at 8:10 a.m., Wayne spokeswoman Tara Humphries told NBC News.

The campus was closed for the rest of the day and police have searched the surrounding area for suspect Kenneth Stancil, a former student who did not graduate from the college, CNN reported. Stancil may have been one of Lane’s employees at the campus print shop.

“This is not a random situation. It is an isolated situation,” Major Tom Effler of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office told CNN, adding that other faculty members were familiar with Stancil.

Troy University students arrested for Florida beach rape

Police arrested students Delonte’ Martistee and Ryan Austin Calhoun of Troy University April 10 for perpetrating an alleged gang rape, the Panama City News Herald reported. A video posted online shows Martistee and Calhoun allegedly raping an incapacitated woman on a crowded beach during a spring break trip to Panama City, Florida, sometime between March 10 and 12, the News Herald reported.

“This is happening in broad daylight with hundreds of people seeing and hearing what is happening, and they are more concerned about spilling their beer than somebody being raped,” said Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen. The alleged victim appears to be resisting in the video, and later told the Bay Country Sheriff’s office that she did not report the incident because she did not remember enough of the incident, possibly as a result of being drugged, the News Herald reported.

Police discovered the video on the cell phone of a witness in the investigation of a different case involving a shooting at Troy. Officers notified officials in Panama City, making the video one of many leads in similar sexual assault cases in the area in recent weeks. Martistee and Calhoun went back to Panama City Friday to Bay County jail to face the charges, the News Herald reported.

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