Rutgers professor sexual assault investigation finds neither party can be believed
Earlier this semester, The Daily Targum reported on an ongoing investigation into sexual assault allegations made against Nabil Adam, vice chancellor for Research & Collaborations at Rutgers University—Newark, by one of his students. The case now stands at a stalemate as Adam refuses to submit a DNA sample for further investigation.
In the investigation’s latest development, the victim, whose identity has been kept anonymous, submitted a pair of pants to the University which she said were stained with semen, as reported by the Targum. This was over a month ago.
Rutgers has since stated that based on the parties’ various statements and documentary evidence, neither party can be believed, according to a report obtained by NJ Advance Media. The University has found that the evidence provided by the victim did not substantiate her claims of sexual assault and harassment against Adam.
"I am not able to find that Dr. Adam sexually assaulted (the student) and/or that there was a sexual relationship of any kind between the Parties," said Lisa Grosskreutz, director of the Office of Employment Equity (OEE), to NJ Advance Media.
Adam remains on administrative leave and is barred from entering campus, engaging with students and participating in any University activities, said Peter Englot, chief of staff and senior vice chancellor for Public Affairs at Rutgers—Newark in a statement to NJ Advance Media.
The University’s policy states that “an administrative leave for investigative/review purposes shall not be given for a predetermined length of time, but shall be in effect long enough to conclude the investigation/review,” according to its site.
"While he professed that he cooperated fully during the investigations but 'drew the line' at such an invasion of privacy, the reality is that Dr. Adam misrepresented and withheld information throughout this entire process, and this final refusal to validate or discredit the one purported piece of material evidence is extremely troubling,” according the report obtained by NJ Advance Media.
Adam’s decision not to participate in DNA testing has spanned a little over a month and surpasses the OEE’s initial estimate to the victim that it would obtain a sample within days of requesting approval from Adam, according to email correspondence obtained by the Targum.
Adam was involved in an 18-month long relationship with the student in which she threatened to commit suicide multiple times and attempted to do so by swallowing pills in July 2017 — she claimed she had grown dependent on the married professor’s attention and affection, according to the Targum.
The investigation is in its fifth month since the student filed an official report on Nov. 28, 2017 with the OEE, after having made initial allegations and subsequently retracted them following a failed suicide attempt.
Adam did not report any of these instances to the University, nor did he mention that the student began stalking him. In her initial complaint, she specified that she "grew obsessed with Adam," and the recently obtained report contains a chain of texts and emails she sent him with some threatening self-harm if he did not leave his wife.
The report cited astoundment that Adam did not report the student’s behavior and stated that his behavior was "extremely troubling." The investigation raised concerns that are “serious and significant” and that appropriate action will be taken at the conclusion of any appeal if one is brought forth. Both parties have 10 days since the report’s release, last Tuesday, to file an appeal.
"Dr. Adam cooperated in the investigation to the fullest extent that he could do so consistent with his continued desire that his personal privacy and professional sensibilities were at all times maintained," said Adam’s Attorney, Bruce Atkins in a statement with NJ Advance Media. "He did so while being subjected to claims admittedly filled with falsehoods and this student's obsessive conduct, which the University investigators appropriately found victimized him in violation of University policies."
Editor's Note: Parts of this article have been updated to better reflect the University's position.