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Court accepts university's lawsuit against former professor over sexual scandal

(Xinhua)

16:14, September 08, 2012

BEIJING, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- A Beijing court accepted on Friday a lawsuit filed by a prestigious university against a former professor who had alleged some of the institute's faculty members and professors had regularly sexually harassed hostesses at a campus restaurant.

The Peking University (PKU) sent an indictment against one of its former economics professor, Zou Hengfu, for infringement of its reputation rights, according to the people's court of Haidian district.

On Aug. 21, Zou claimed on his Weibo account, a popular Chinese twitter-like microblog, that some deans, directors and professors with the PKU had frequently sexually harassed waitresses while visiting the Mengtaoyuan Restaurant, located close to the university's hospital.

Zou has not revealed details to back his allegations, though the Weibo post sparked wide public criticism.

A PKU spokesman said on Aug. 31 the university's disciplinary authorities set up an investigation team on Aug. 22 to look into the accusation.

The probe showed none of the 68 restaurant employees who had been questioned said they or their colleagues had been harassed by PKU staff members or professors, according to the spokesman.

The spokesman said the investigation team had been unsuccessful in its attempts to contact Zou until Aug. 29, when the investigation team received phone calls and emails from Zou for the first time. But he did not provide any substantial evidence to assist in the investigation, the spokesman said.

Zou, however, acknowledged on Weibo Aug. 30 that he exaggerated the facts and narrowed the accused down to a "minority" number of faculty members. "I always exaggerate, and that's my consistent style," he wrote.

The 50-year-old economics professor began work at the PKU in 1998 and was dismissed in 2007.

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