IL--SNAP responds: U of C Prof accused of sexual harassment

For immediate release Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Statement by Barbara Blaine, President and Founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 312 399 4747

In the awful sexual harassment case of a recently-resigned and now disgraced University of Chicago Professor Jason Leib, two people deserve praise.

Lieb is accused of sexually harassing students and taking sexual advantage of one who was too drunk to consent.

We applaud Joe Thornton, a faculty member in the biology department who raised objections before the vote to hire Leib. Thornton rightly criticized the “standard” used in the hiring process, which sets up an artificially high bar by which sexual misconduct charges are judged.

“It may be a legal standard, but we should be capable of making more nuanced judgments about the environment we’re creating,” Thornton said.

We also applaud Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, who “is considering introducing legislation to compel schools to disclose any sexual harassment record of faculty members when they are changing jobs,” according to the New York Times.

This is a long-overdue, common sense step toward making college students and staff safer from predators.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (

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