Student masseuses at Europe and the U.S. colleges Europe and its former student-run institution, the University of Michigan, were routinely involved in sexual harassment allegations against former students, and some students say the school failed to protect them.
In a report on Tuesday, Recode, an online news and culture website, detailed how students at the two schools were told to leave campus when they were told they had been sexually harassed.
Recode also detailed several instances of sexual harassment by a masseuse employed by Europe, and detailed a report of a massage parlor owner who reportedly paid $2,000 for sex acts with a male student.
The report came on the heels of a new investigation by Recode into the allegations of sexual assault and harassment at the universities.
In an email, an email address that Recode had set up for customers to report allegations, Europe spokeswoman Stephanie McVey said the university is “deeply troubled by these allegations.”
The university is working with the Department of Education and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office to determine if any students have been harmed by the masseuses and the masseuse’s conduct, she said.
Recodes report focused on allegations made by students at both universities.
The student-led publication said that while it was not a case of a masseuser being paid for sex, the employee did have “a pattern of sexual misconduct” involving one or more students.
The website did not name the student.
Students who reported sexual harassment to the university were encouraged to speak up, the website said.
The students told Recode that the masseuser was a former student of Europe, who was also employed by the school as a masseur.
Recoding identified the student as Paul K. Soto, an economics major at the University in Ann Arbor, Mich.
He graduated in 2012 and has since gone to work for a massage business, where he was fired in 2015.
Recoded identified Soto as the student who made the report to Recode.
The outlet reported that students reported sexual misconduct at both Europe and Michigan to the school, which is now investigating the allegations.
“This is a textbook case of what happens when you hire a masse,” said Sarah Rittenhouse, a law professor at Fordham University who is a former president of the American Association of University Professors.
“These are two institutions that, as they were trying to figure out how to run their campuses, basically did not have the resources to handle this.”
The report said Europe hired an external law firm to investigate the allegations, which were “totally lacking in detail,” including “a complete record of any witnesses, and a full review of the events.”
The University of Michiess said it would not comment on the report.
Europe and University of Virginia Both universities have been under scrutiny for alleged sexual misconduct in recent months.
In May, the New York Times published a story alleging that Europe had a “culture of sexual violence and mistreatment of students,” and that the university had fired at least three female employees in recent years.
Recalling those stories, Rittenhouses said that she believes the two universities had to be forced to respond.
“It’s not surprising that both institutions had to have a culture of sexual abuse and mistreating of students, or that they would both be forced under federal Title IX enforcement to have some form of response,” she said, referring to the federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in educational institutions.
The Office of Civil Rights at the Department for Education has also launched a federal investigation into allegations of sex discrimination in colleges, and in October, President Trump appointed former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to lead the Office of Equal Opportunity.