CofC, former professor named in sex assault lawsuit by student

CHARLESTON,S.C. (WCIV) - A College of Charleston student filed suit against the school anda former professor who resigned last year in the face of sexual misconductallegations with students.

The lawsuitwas filed April 1 against former professor and acclaimed international pianistEnrique Graf, the College, its outgoing president George Benson, and the formerdean of the school's music department.

The lawsuitcomes about a year after the allegations were levied against Graf that sparkedan investigation and Graf's dismissal. The student is still at the Collegeaccording to the filing.

No criminalcharges were filed against Graf after the investigation, however.

Theinvestigation dates back to complaints from 1994.

In theinvestigative documents, two victims were named -- a current student and aformer student from Maryland.

The currentstudent alleged that Graf made repeated unwanted sexual advances, requests forsexual favors, unwanted physical contact and verbally sexually abused him. Thestudent went on to claim the behavior started shortly after he entered Collegeof Charleston as a freshman and has continued since then.

Graf deniedthe allegations, saying neither student appeared afraid or uncomfortable aroundhim. Graf also said any touching he did of students was to correct theirposture, the documents state.

Grafspeculated that the allegations could have been invented to extort money fromhim, according to the investigation.

The schoolalso talked to several of Graf's former students at the College and at CarnegieMellon -- none of whom said they had any problems with Graf.

Members ofthe College's faculty and staff did not report any problems with Graf, eitherdirected toward them or towards others in their presence, the report states.The same follows for members of the Charleston Academy of Music, where Graf hasworked for more than 20 years, and people who live in the same building asGraf.