Singapore — The National University of Singapore (NUS) has sacked a college don after investigating allegations that he had engaged in sexual misconduct involving two female students.
According to an NUS statement on Sunday (Oct 18), it had received two complaints about Dr Jeremy Fernando, a fellow at Tembusu College, alleging that he had “behaved inappropriately as a teaching staff”.
As reported by The Straits Times on Monday (Oct 19), an NUS spokesman said: “An internal investigation was carried out and Dr Fernando’s conduct was found to have fallen short of the standards of professionalism that the university expects of a teaching staff. Based on the findings of the internal investigation, Dr Fernando, a non-residential teaching staff, was dismissed by the university.”
The NUS added that it is providing support and assistance to the victims.
According to the ST report, the first complaint alleged that advances from Dr Fernando began in October 2019 and lasted till the Circuit Breaker period this year.
The woman alleged that Dr Fernando made non-consensual sexual advances, such as kissing and groping her, and performed oral sex while she was drunk. She added that he sent gifts to her house despite her requesting him to stop.
“He pressured me into various sexual acts and discouraged me from telling my friends,” she said.
The second victim said Dr Fernando approached her during online classes this year and privately messaged her on Zoom. A week after that, they met a male student for drinks at a restaurant and went back to her apartment.
She alleged that, while there, Dr Fernando tried touching her and kissed her when the male student was in the toilet. After she pulled away, he told her not to tell anyone and that, if she did not keep it a secret, he would lose his job, she said.
The two students said that they were disappointed with the lack of communication and statement of clarification from the university to the student population until the issue surfaced on social media.
It also appears that, while the announcement was made on Sunday, the don was sacked nearly two weeks ago. /TISG