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Professor is probed over sex claims

Beihang University acts after student reports harassment case from 2005

A professor at Beihang University in Beijing was suspended on Monday over an accusation of sexual harassment from a former student.

Luo Qianqian, a former doctoral student of Chen Xiaowu, posted on social media recently that the professor took her to his sister’s empty apartment one afternoon in 2005.

She said Chen complained about his sex life with his wife and attempted to have sex with her. He hesitated when she told him she was still a virgin and begged him not to do anything, Luo said.

The alleged victim says Chen, her deputy supervisor, told her not to tell anyone about what happened and said it was a test of her moral conduct. She said she became depressed and relied on anti-depressants to get through the day when her relationship with Chen soured.

Luo now lives in the United States. She said she finally decided to come forward after hearing about the#MeToo campaign in the US, which encourages people to speak out about sexual harassment.

In October, she identified at least five female students from Beihang University who also claimed they were sexually harassed by Chen. They formed a group, and Luo started to collect evidence. She later published an article on social media to share their stories.

After the article began to circulate, the university’s discipline inspection commission contacted Luo, and she handed over the evidence against Chen.

Beihang said in a statement on Monday that the university takes the accusations against Chen seriously. A work group has been set up to investigate the case, and Chen has been suspended.

On Monday afternoon, Chen told Beijing Youth Daily he had heard about the accusations on social media and denied he has done anything to violate the law or discipline rules.

He said people should wait for the conclusion of the university’s investigation.

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