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UC Davis professor accused of sexually assaulting high school student

ting guo
via UC Davis

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    A University of California (UC) Davis professor was placed on administrative leave after he was accused of sexually assaulting a high school student who worked in his laboratory.

    Ting Guo, a 58-year-old chemistry professor and a former department chair at the school, was placed on paid leave in January 2021 after UC Davis’ Title IX office learned of a civil lawsuit filed against Guo and UC Davis in connection to a 2018 police report.

    Guo was accused of raping an 18-year-old student who worked in his laboratory on three occasions outside of the campus in 2010. According to a statement released by UC Davis on Thursday, the student, who is identified in court documents as Jane Doe, was never enrolled at the university.

    Doe reportedly met Guo when she reached out to him to fulfill an AP chemistry assignment that called for her to shadow a working chemist, according to court documents. 

    She began shadowing him in January 2010, and six months later, Guo allegedly raped her in his home when she brought him a gift to thank him for his mentorship. 

    In two other unspecified visits to his house in 2010, Guo allegedly raped her again, leaving her “scared, uncomfortable and confused.”

    In 2018, Doe, who claimed she suffered severe psychological and emotional trauma, reported the alleged assaults to police at UC Santa Barbara, where she went to school.

    The student’s attorney told KCRA 3 that the civil lawsuit was dismissed in 2021 due to inadequate statute of limitations at the time. However, the attorney will see whether the case can be revived under provisions of AB 2777, which “revives claims seeking to recover damages suffered as a result of a sexual assault.” 

    An investigation into the incidents is underway, according to the university. 

    Chancellor Gary S. May has requested an independent, external and comprehensive review of all UC Davis programs involving youths from 2010 to 2023.  

    According to university officials, an external investigation was commissioned to evaluate all activities on the campus involving minors since 2010 and whether UC Davis has handled reports properly.

    “Sexual misconduct has no place at UC Davis, and the university works to create a community that is inclusive and welcoming to all,” the university’s statement reads. “UC Davis is committed to responding promptly and effectively to all reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment. UC Davis fully complies with UC’s robust policy and process for reviewing and investigating allegations of sexual harassment and sexual violence.”

    Guo was instructed not to “contact the complainant or any UC Davis student or employee, or to come onto campus, without prior permission” while on leave.

    He joined the UC Davis faculty in 1999. 

    Guo was the director of the Summer Educational Experience for the Economically Disadvantaged program, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The program mentors high school students to work with researchers. He reportedly received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award in 2002.

    The professor was an active mentor in the Young Scholars Program UC Davis, a summer residential program for high school student researchers, until 2019. According to the university, the alleged victim never participated in the program.

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