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CSN student’s lawsuit alleges instructor forced her into sex

A College of Southern Nevada student filed a federal lawsuit against her former political science instructor, claiming he forced her to perform oral sex on him to avoid failing his class, according to documents filed in January.

Fearing a failing grade would keep her from being accepted into the college’s nursing program, Mary Ann Gabiana approached professor Douglas Pitts and asked how she could earn extra credit, the lawsuit states.

"Defendant Pitts, in his position as plaintiff’s professor and the person who could give plaintiff a failing grade in the course, proposed a sexual liaison and sexual favors, including oral sex, from plaintiff in return for a passing grade in the political science course," according to the complaint.

Pitts "cajoled" Gabiana to give him a ride to his car and when the two were in a remote lot on campus, he exposed himself and "forced plaintiff to perform oral sex on him," the complaint states.

Pitts’ attorney, Liborius Agwara, said in the complaint that Gabiana was mortified and embarrassed and did not attend classes for the rest of the semester.

"Pitts gave plaintiff a passing grade of B in return for the oral sex he forced the plaintiff to perform on him," Agwara wrote.

Agwara did not return phone messages seeking comment Friday.

It is unclear when the incident took place, but college spokeswoman K.C. Howard said Pitts left the school on May 24, 2006. The part-time instructor taught only one semester, earning $3,020.

Howard said the college’s legal counsel has yet to respond to the complaint, which was filed Jan. 25.

"As a policy, we don’t comment on ongoing litigation," she said.

Agwara also named the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education as a defendant.

The complaint stated that the board ignored previous complaints lodged against Pitts.

"Regents through management personnel at CSN had actual or constructive notice of similar conduct by Pitts in the past but exhibited deliberate or reckless indifference toward it," the complaint states.

Bart Patterson, general counsel for the Board of Regents, said the school’s response to the lawsuit will be through court documents. However, he said he had no knowledge of any other complaints against Pitts.

"I’m not aware of any other complaints besides this lawsuit that were filed," he said. "We certainly will do an investigation in response to the lawsuit."

Attempts to reach Pitts for comment were unsuccessful Friday.

Contact reporter Adrienne Packer at (702) 384-8710 or apacker@reviewjournal.com.

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