UC professor’s misconduct brought to light

Editor’s Note: The Xavier Newswire uses the word “alleged” and subsequent variations to avoid casting doubt or blame on either party involved in the following scenario. The word does not absolve or incriminate either party’s statements and is merely used to avoid bias towards either party.

Photo courtesy of Meg Vogel | After having his alleged sexual misconduct an “open secret” among faculty in University of Cincinnati’s music department since the 1990’s, flautist Bradley Garner had his actions brought to light by the Enquirer.

The sexual assault scandal involving former University of Cincinnati (UC) flute professor and world-renowned performer Dr. Bradley Garner was brought to public attention earlier this month by the Cincinnati Enquirer. After the release of an investigative report by UC that included the testimony of 21 former, current and prospective students in November, the university placed Garner on unpaid leave and barred him from campus. Garner retired seven days before his disciplinary hearing in December 2017, claiming he had been denied due process in the Title IX proceedings. No alleged sexual assault victims have identified themselves publicly.

UC began its investigation into Garner in October after a College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) division head and dean escorted two unidentified flute students to UC’s Title IX office to file complaints against Garner, according to the Enquirer. The investigative report released in November concluded that there was evidence that Garner’s “persistent and pervasive harassment created a significant hostile learning environment for students” via “unwanted sexual advances and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.”

UC has claimed that it did not receive complaints prior to October 2016, though the Enquirer interviewed a CCM graduate student who claimed she filed Title IX complaints in spring of 2016.

Former UC adjunct professor Randy Bowman also claimed that Garner’s inappropriate behavior had been an “open secret” among staff since the 1990s.

UC’s investigative report found that Garner targeted students in three main ways within CCM: sexualizing students, texting them sexually explicit messages and having sexual relations with them. He also made objectifying comments during private and group lessons to female students. The comments included, “Would you like your spanking now or later?” and “I want you to breathe so low that the bottom of your pants pops open. I promise I won’t look… but maybe I will.”

CCM students and a professor claimed they had occasionally received or heard of students receiving sexually explicit texts including genitalia from Garner. The UC investigative report included one student’s testimony claiming that Garner kissed them on the face during private lessons. Garner even had students sign legally binding contracts to only be taught private lessons by him, according to the Enquirer. Prospective CCM students detail instances that Garner had forced sexual relations when they were minors. Bowman claimed that Garner showed him two videos of the flute professor having sexual relations with students.

Besides UC, Garner was instructing at three other institutions: NYU, Juilliard Pre-college Division (Juilliard Prep) and WildAcres Flute Retreat. UC did not attempt to inform any of these institutions of the investigation after it released the report in November. Juilliard Prep had informally known of the investigation through the flute world and placed the famed flutist on immediate leave in December, allowing Garner’s contract to expire without renewal. New York University fired Garner after being approached by the Enquirer in January. Wildacres Flute Retreat has also fired Garner.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters will be working with UC to examine the sexual assault allegations further.

By: Heather Gast ~Staff Writer~

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