A crazy story about a distinguished professor at Harvard Law School involves one of the most important problems in Title IX law – a false accusation of sexual misconduct meant purely to manipulate and intimidate.
Harvard Law Professor Caught in Web of Fraud
The story, published in The Cut, went viral recently after The New York Times referred to it as a “must-read.”
The article is about Harvard Law professor Bruce Hay and how he was targeted in a paternity scam by two women – Ms. Shuman and Ms. Haider. According to the article, one of the women – Ms. Shuman – flirted with the professor and then claimed to have gotten pregnant with his child. Over the course of the subsequent relationship, her close friend Ms. Haider connected with the professor on a more intellectual level. They bonded with each other over experiences with depression, politics, and activism. The professor felt an urge to protect Ms. Haider as she dealt with being transgender and her issues related to her transition.
Both of the women went on to use these connections as leverage over the professor, demanding his time, support, and money. They even managed to lease his house in Boston against his wishes.
They also used Harvard's Title IX process against him.
Title IX Accusation Used as a Weapon in Campaign of Fraud
One prong of the women's tactics was to threaten to file a Title IX complaint against the professor. Ms. Haider went so far as to write emails to Harvard's Title IX office, often blind carbon copying Professor Hay so he could see what she wrote. However, he shrugged them off as being a part of Ms. Haider's difficulties.
Then Ms. Haider followed through on her threats and filed a Title IX complaint against him for sexual harassment. Because of the way Title IX claims are handled, now, Professor Hay was put on indefinite suspension while the investigation is underway.
Professor Hay's decision to hire a lawyer played a huge role in opening his eyes to the scam he'd become embroiled in; the lawyer he hired just happened to have represented someone else who had been targeted by the same women with the same scheme in the past.
When Professor Hay asked why he'd been targeted by the women, Ms. Shuman said it had to do with an open letter he'd signed in 2014 that criticized Harvard's new, victim-centered Title IX procedures.
Title IX Defense Lawyer Joseph D. Lento
Of course, the article in The Cut only provides Professor Hay's side of the story. However, when the article's author reached out to the two women in the scene they refused to provide their perspective aside from issuing a blanket denial to Hay's claims. They have also repeatedly refused Hay's request for a paternity test for the baby they claim is Hay's.
Both sides have filed lawsuits against each other. However, Professor Hay remains suspended from his job.
Joseph D. Lento helps people who have been groundlessly accused of Title IX violations. Contact him online or call his law office at (888) 535-3686.