* ProPublica Illinois…
Two former students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a professor at another college filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a former UIUC professor, claiming he assaulted, bullied and raped multiple students.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Urbana against Gary Gang Xu, seeks damages for distress from emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
The lawsuit claims Xu specifically targeted female Chinese students, who often depended on the university for their visa status. […]
Xu, who was a tenured professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, resigned last year, two years after a university investigation found that he violated a no-contact directive involving a student and had an inappropriate relationship with that student.
He received a $10,000 “separation payment” with a confidentiality clause.
* From the lawsuit…
Sun entered into a sexual relationship with Xu, her professor, when she was 19 and he was 45. She was new to the country, isolated, and so young. She was the perfect target for him. Xu was a typical domestic abuser. He raised Sun up, only to throw her back down. He told her he loved her and then threatened to leave her. He violently raped her, then told her it was because he couldn’t help himself in the face of her beauty. He tried to pimp her out to Chinese artists for commercial gain. He forced her to arrange a threesome for him with another student while she was pregnant with his child. Hanging over the entire relationship was the huge power imbalance between them. She was his student. He could fail her, drop her from his course. She could lose her F1 student visa status and be forced to leave the country if she displeased him. He could beat her if she refused—he had before. Sun was so strung along by Xu that she would do whatever he asked, even having an abortion performed against her will. The despair she felt over the loss of her baby caused her to attempt suicide.
On several occasions, Sun attempted to stop the cycle of violence and reported Xu’s abuse to UIUC. As is typical of a victim of domestic violence, she dropped these reports shortly after making them to protect her safety — Xu beat her and threatened to hurt her and her family if she did not. UIUC took no meaningful action in response to these reports, allowing Xu continued unsupervised access to all the young students under his tutelage, including Sun. After the University gave him a letter telling him to have no contact with Sun, she was still allowed to enroll in and take his classes, with no measures in place to prevent this. He flaunted their relationship publicly, but the University did nothing. Even as he began to sexually violate yet another UIUC student, Xu’s relationship with Sun continued.
Finally, in the fall of 2015, an incident occurred that UIUC could no longer ignore. Xu’s volatile temper flared again, with Sun as his target. As Xu began to advance on Sun, she fled her apartment to escape him. She ran down public streets while Xu chased her in his car, attempting to hit her, until she arrived at the Champaign Public Library. There was a public scene, with many witnesses, and the police were called. Sun told the police about their abusive relationship—his physical assaults, his rapes. Her school advisor was present. This time, UIUC had to take notice. Sun, through a private attorney, filed a restraining order against Xu. Their two- year abusive relationship was, at last, over.
He didn’t resign for two more years.