Dentist Sues Temple, Professor

Posted: October 05, 1993

A female dentist and graduate student has sued Temple University in federal court, alleging she has been subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination by a professor at Temple's dental school.

The dentist, Anastasia Batsis, is seeking money damages from both the university and the professor, Asterios Doukoudakis.

The alleged wrongdoing began in January 1991, when Batsis enrolled in the school's prosthodontics program, which Doukoudakis directs, and included ''inappropriate and unwanted sexual touching, comments and other advances," the suit states.

Batsis, according to the suit, spurned the professor's advances, and, as a result, wasn't able to graduate this past June.

The suit, filed on Friday in U.S. District Court here, contends the professor retaliated, limiting her educational opportunities "by assigning her clinical patients and work to other students and instructors."

Batsis complained "to various individuals in various departments" but Temple "failed to take prompt and appropriate remedial action," the suit contends.

Temple spokesman George Ingram said Batsis filed a complaint in April or May with the university's affirmative action office. The case went through ''normal university channels," Ingram said, and is now in the hands of the Faculty Senate personnel committee.

"It's premature to file a suit when you haven't found out what the outcome of (the university's) investigation is," said Ingram, adding that "sexual harassment is something we take very seriously."

Doukoudakis couldn't be reached for comment.

Batsis sustained "severe psychological impairment," with symptoms including gastrointestinal disorders, loss of sleep, deep depression, anxiety, loss of self-esteem and thoughts of suicide, states the lawsuit, filed by attorneys Jon C. Sirlin and Heather McBreen Bendit.

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