Morehouse College Investigates Sexual Misconduct After Students’ Videos


The first video detailing allegations of sexual misconduct came with a plea: “Please get Morehouse’s attention.”

The second followed soon after: “I too had the same experience.”

In separate posts on Twitter this week, two young men who identified themselves as students at Morehouse College shared their experiences with a staff member at the college who they said had been sexually inappropriate with them. They complained of sexualized comments and inappropriate references to their sexuality.

The videos were shared thousands of times and prompted a vocal online conversation about the handling of sexual misconduct at Morehouse, an all-male, historically black school in Atlanta.

In statements this week, Morehouse said it was investigating the complaints and had placed the staffer on unpaid administrative leave. The staffer, DeMarcus Crews, is identified on the college’s website as a member of its student services leadership team. He is an alumnus of the college who has worked there since he graduated in 2015, according to his LinkedIn page.

In the video, Mr. Key said that, starting in his first year as a student, Mr. Crews made sexual comments to him, hugged him, pinched his cheek and tried to “force me to come out about my sexuality.”

“It got to the point where I went into a really bad depression,” he said.

He said he reported the behavior to the college, but he said Morehouse did not take action. No lawsuit has been filed.

Morehouse is consistently ranked near the top of the list of more than 100 schools designated by the Department of Education as historically black colleges and universities, or H.B.C.U.s.

“This story has pierced the hearts of graduates of H.B.C.U.s,” his lawyer, Tiffany Simmons, said in a statement Friday. “It is a disgrace that a black institution of higher learning would allow this to happen and it be swept under a rug.”

A few hours after Mr. Key’s video was posted on Tuesday, a second student retweeted it with a video of his own. That student, who identified himself by name and as a first-year student at Morehouse, also accused Mr. Crews of inappropriate comments and behavior. He alleged that Mr. Crews falsely told another student that he had come out to him as gay.

The second student did not respond to messages seeking an interview on Friday.

The videos prompted a broader conversation online about the environment for those who experience or report sexual misconduct at Morehouse, a small community of about 2,200 students.

The conversation follows a reckoning at other college campuses across the country, where issues surrounding Title IX, the federal law that protects against sex discrimination, have become central.



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