Artist Sues After Expulsion from Pratt Institute
A New York artist has sued the Pratt Institute after he was expelled for complaints of sexual harassment.
Born in Nigeria in 1971, Onyeka Ibe is a well-known painter of abstract-impressionist pieces. The American painter sought an advanced art degree at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn in 2012. He was expelled from that institution after allegations concerning sexual harassment were lodged against him.
Sexual harassment, or unwelcome verbal, written or physical conduct of a sexual nature, is prohibited under state and federal law. In the case of Mr. Ibe, a New York Post article describes complaints made against him during his time at the Pratt, including:
- Requests to coeds to model nude for him
- Soliciting a woman to film him as he masturbated on her nude body
- Entrapping a woman in a restroom, requesting a hug and commenting on her breast size
- Touching the face of a woman and holding her face to his chest
This spring, Mr. Ibe initiated a lawsuit against the Pratt Institute in an attempt to regain admittance to the college to finish his degree.
While the legal action filed by Mr. Ibe is bound to shine a light on accusations made against him, most sexual harassment actions settle short of a court action. In our practice only about one percent of cases go to trial, with the rest handled through private negotiation.
Rarely is it in the best interests of a prestigious art school or a well-known artist to debate the grounds of sexual harassment charges in public. When you have questions about sexual harassme or employment discrimination in New York, talk to an experienced labor attorney for answers.
July 21, 2014