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5 students accuse former FGCU professor of misconduct

Posted at 9:31 PM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 21:31:41-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla.---  Former Florida Gulf Coast University professor accused of sexual misconduct with students in his class. 

The University opened up an investigation into the former professor, Dr. Rod Chesnutt, on August 25, 2017 when FGCU Office of the Provost was given a flash drive that contained photos of students in bathing suits. 

According to an FGCU report, Chesnutt admitted to having in inappropriate relationship with a student. 

Five students have come forth claiming harassment from Chesnutt on separate occasions. One student accuses the former professor of making comments about her physical appearance and the clothes that she wore; while another student says they were afraid to report Chesnutt because he "had a lot of power in the school and music community."

Chesnutt served as the head of Instrumental Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University and was also the conductor of the FGCU's Wind Orchestra. 

According to reports, Chesnutt resigned from his position in October 2017, almost two months after the Office of Academic Affairs notified him that he was being investigated for claims of "unprofessional and unethical" behavior. 

A witness statement also accuses Chesnutt of treating them differently when they refused to accept his sexual advances. The victim, who was currently Chesnutt students, says that he asked them to come with him to dinner and to stay in his hotel. The victim says they told Chesnutt that they weren't interested but he kept insisting. 

The Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance (OIEC) says as they continue their investigation they have found enough of evidence that the former professor, Dr. Chesnutt, harassed the victims.

The OIEC is responsible for ensuring that the University's and those who work for them follow the Educational Amendments.