Dr. Anita Enriquez confirmed on the witness stand that UOG professor Michael Ehlert was removed from class prior to being served an adverse action, but not as a form of punishment.
Guam – It has been nearly two years since UOG professor Michael Ehlert was accused of sexually assaulting two university students at an off-campus Halloween party. With more evidence and witnesses coming in, the scheduled November trial has been shifted to allow time for review.
Dr. Anita Enriquez, Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at the University of Guam, was one of the witnesses to testify this afternoon before Judge Vernon Perez at a continued hearing to suppress evidence. Dr. Enriquez testified that, in an oral communication she had with Dean James Sellmann, who is Ehlert’s immediate supervisor, she had advised Sellmann to cancel Ehlert’s classes on Nov. 4 when a complaint of sexual harassment against Ehlert was received. She says this was done in order to “neutralize the environment so that it was free from perceived hostility by the students.” Enriquez confirmed that this action was taken before the proposed adverse action letter dated Nov. 7, 2014 was sent to Ehlert. However, Enriquez clarified that this was not done as punishment, but as a precautionary measure to modify Ehlert’s interaction with students because of the nature of the allegations.
At his last hearing, Ehlert took the stand and stated that he felt compelled to respond to the allegations, stating “If I don’t provide a response, then allegations will be accepted and I’ll be deemed guilty.” In response to this statement, Enriquez said no assumptions are made in the beginning, and there would be no support for the allegations until an investigation was conducted.
Ehlert’s trial, originally set for Nov. 16, has been pushed back to the end of March or April of 2017. His next hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 3 at 1:30 p.m. [/restrict]