UPDATE: Second woman accuses former Georgetown College president of sexual harassment
A civil lawsuit has been filed against William Jones and the college
Update from February 18, 2022:
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – A civil lawsuit has been filed in Scott County against former Georgetown College president William Jones and the school alleging sexual harassment and retaliation, according to the Georgetown News-Graphic.
This is the second woman to accuse Jones of sexual harassment while he was president. In the lawsuit, the woman claims to be the person who told the school of an alleged incident in Indianapolis in which a college employee claimed she was sexually assaulted by Jones, according to the newspaper report.
Jones was fired by Georgetown College last November after formal sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations were made.
Georgetown College President Rosemary Allen told the newspaper, “The college cannot comment on matters in litigation. Actions of individuals do not reflect upon institutions.”
According to the newspaper report, in the lawsuit filed this week against Jones and the school, a woman says she had an ongoing but unwanted sexual relationship with Jones that began in 2016 when she met him at Bethany College in Kansas where he was president. Jones created a position for the woman at the college and also got her husband a job at the school, according to the report. After the couple accepted the positions at Bethany College, Jones subjected the woman to unwelcome sexual harassment in the form of sexual advances and requests for sexual favors, to which she felt compelled to and did submit to, according to the lawsuit cited by the newspaper.
When Jones took over at Georgetown College, he created a position for the woman and she “reluctantly” accepted with the understanding she would be expected to give in to Jones’ unwelcome sexual demands, according to the report.
Jones impressed upon the woman her career was dependent upon him, according to the suit cited by the newspaper.
The report says Jones scheduled overnight trips and continued to make unwelcome sexual demands of the woman. The woman eventually got divorced. In May 20221, Jones became obsessed with the woman and started suggesting he would leave his wife for her, according to the report. In the lawsuit, the woman claims she didn’t want a relationship with Jones and encouraged him to remain with his wife and that she would no longer give in to his sexual demands, according to the report.
After being rejected, Jones’ obsession with the woman only increased and he frequently touched her in a sexually intimate manner and eventually, without her knowledge, made a key to her home, according to the report.
In June 2021, the woman began dating someone, which increased Jones’ obsession and led to uncontrollable jealousy, according to the report. On one occasion, an intoxicated Jones “aggressively” confronted the woman on a date and continued to try to sabotage her relationship, according to the report.
Around October 2021, Jones offered to promote the woman to a position within Georgetown College that would require her to be available to him 24 hours a day, seven days a week and leave no time for personal relationships, according to the report.
In the suit the woman claims on Oct. 18, 2021, Jones tried to force her to attend an event in Indianapolis, but she was excused because of a family commitment involving her son. The report says a female colleague (identified as Jane Doe) went on the trip instead. That woman later alleged Jones sexually assaulted her on the trip.
On Nov. 1, 2021, the woman filed a formal complaint with the school about the alleged sexual harassment against her and reported what Jane Doe had told her about the alleged sexual assault in Indianapolis, according to the report. Later that same day, Jones was removed as president.
The woman claims in her lawsuit that she’s in therapy and suffers from severe emotional distress and mental anxiety as a result of Jones “aggressively harassing and stalking” her after she “expressly informed him that she would not continue the sexual relationship,” according to the lawsuit cited by the newspaper.
The woman was fired by Georgetown College on Dec. 16, 2021, according to the report.
In the lawsuit, Georgetown College is accused of knowing or reasonably should have known that Jones was abusing his authority and/or subjecting the woman to unlawful sexual harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action. The suit includes claims of retaliation by the school up to and including the woman’s firing, according to the report.
The suit requests a jury trial in Scott County as the woman seeks compensatory and punitive damages, according to the report.
Original story below from November 2, 2021:
GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Board of Trustees of Georgetown College terminated the employment of William A. Jones as president of the College effective Monday, Nov. 1.
Dr. Rosemary Allen, the College’s Provost, was named Acting President by the College’s Board of Trustees.
On Sunday afternoon, Oct. 31, the college was informed of allegations of a sexual assault of a female college employee, inappropriate behavior with another female college employee and other conduct in violation of Jones’s employment agreement with the college. Georgetown College took immediate steps to investigate the allegations. The college has engaged outside counsel to continue the investigation.
Chairman of the Georgetown College Board of Trustees, Robert L. Mills, called a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board for Monday morning, Nov. 1. The committee took immediate action to dismiss Jones. The full Board of Trustees affirmed the action of the Executive Committee at a meeting later on Monday.
Chairman Mills provided the following statement: “Georgetown College does not tolerate violence or misuse of authority. We hold our administrators, students and faculty to the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct. We are surprised and deeply disappointed by what we have learned. We will support the members of our Georgetown College family who are directly impacted, and we will work cooperatively with ongoing or any future investigations. We are confident in the leadership of Acting President Allen and the Board appreciates her dedication to the continuing mission of Georgetown College during this difficult time.”
Because the allegations remain under investigation, the College will have no further comment at this time, according to Mills.