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UC Irvine employee sues Board of Regents and a volunteer, claiming sexual harassment

UC Irvine employee sues Board of Regents and a volunteer, claiming sexual harassment
Carlin Motley appears at a news conference with her attorney John Winer on Monday. (KTLA)

A UC Irvine employee has filed a lawsuit against the Board of Regents and a volunteer at the university’s medical center who she said sexually harassed and assaulted her for at least a year.

Carlin Motley, who works as a marketing analyst at UC Irvine’s Cancer Center, said the volunteer, Ibrahim Eldumiati, stalked her and hugged, kissed and touched her inappropriately beginning in January 2017.

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Motley said the university did a poor job of vetting Eldumiati. According to the lawsuit, Eldumiati suffered a brain injury that makes it difficult for him to control his impulses, especially near women.

In one incident, Motley said, Eldumiati kissed her during a fundraising event in front of thousands of people.

“He began kissing my face and down my neck and telling me he loved me so much,” Motley said in a news conference Monday. “This was happening in front of more than 3,000 people.”

Eldumiati followed Motley repeatedly to her office, waited for her in the parking lot and made excuses to enter her office, the lawsuit said. In one instance, he boxed Motley in and prevented her from leaving.

Supervisors were aware of the harassment, Motley said, and did little to prevent the unwanted advances, despite her pleas, she said in the lawsuit.

When she eventually filed a complaint with the university’s Title IX office, her supervisors retaliated by excluding her from regular meetings and told her to “move on,” according to the lawsuit. Motley said her bosses told her, “Things will be harder for you if you don’t let it go.”

“In my mind that was sort of a clear warning, if you will, to be quiet, to shut up and to go away,” she said in the news conference.

Even following the conclusion of UC Irvine’s sexual harassment investigation, Motley said there was no discipline against Eldumiati, and he continued to work near her. A representative for UC Irvine said the man no longer volunteers at the university.

“Ms. Motley is an exemplary employee who showed up every day to do her job, only to be continually harassed for over a year,” her attorney, John Winer, said in a statement. “Her coworkers knew, supervisors knew, the heads of the department knew and yet they did nothing to end this horrible behavior.”

A representative for UC Irvine said the university has not been served with the lawsuit, though attorneys say it was filed late last week.

“UCI obtained a copy of the complaint distributed at yesterday’s news conference hosted by Ms. Motley and her legal counsel, but we have not been formally served,” the university said in an emailed statement. “While we do not comment on pending legal matters, we can confirm that Mr. Ibrahim Eldumiati was never a UCI employee and was removed as a volunteer.”

Eldumiati could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

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