The assistant director of residence life at Southern Connecticut State University is under investigation, accused of sexually assaulting another staff member.
A school spokesperson confirmed that 34-year-old Mark Parrott is currently on administrative leave while a Title IX investigation is underway.
His accuser reported two incidents to campus police which were said to have happened in early April.
The assistant director of residence life was arraigned this week on four misdemeanor charges—two for fourth-degree sexual assault and two for second-degree unlawful sexual restrain
SCSU community members received an email about the investigation Thursday.
“It’s kind of scary because I don’t know who else is going to do that, you know,” said SCSU senior Ariana Taiani.
According to arresting documents, Parrott is accused of locking his arms around the alleged victim’s waist in an elevator after an event in the student center, and then later in the res-life office - even pinning the person to the wall.
The alleged victim told police it made them uncomfortable and they begged to be released, but he refused to let go.
According to arresting documents, Parrott told police he had a joking relationship with the person who he admitted to hugging twice, but he also told police in those documents that he did feel like he was crossing the line.
“I think it’s something quite horrible. It’s something that shouldn’t happen, especially someone in that sort of power,” said SCSU junior Richie Cairns.
In a statement Parrott’s lawyer said, “Accusations are easily made but must be proven. Mr. Parrott is presumed innocent and will plead not guilty when we return to court.”
Parrott is expected to enter that not guilty plea in court later this month.
A campus employee said over the phone that they wish the school was doing more.
In the statement emailed to the campus community, university President Joe Bertolino speaks out against sexual harassment and violence and points to resources available.
“I also want to reinforce that sexual harassment and sexual violence are not acceptable behaviors in our community and are violations of the law, University policies and the Student Code of Conduct,” the statement read in part.