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Former university professor fined over sexual harassment

The Supreme Court of Zurich found a former professor of economics at the University of Zurich guilty of sexual assault and harassment and fined him a total of CHF 5,500 on Monday.
The court heard how, in 2008, the then 34-year-old German professor had fallen in love with a then 26-year-old Swiss kindergarten teacher and pursued her even though she had clearly rejected his advances. It regarded the claims that he had harassed her sexually in a fitness room at the university as proven. He had even touched her breasts. On another occasion the professor tried to force her to give him her boyfriend's address.
The situation for the kindergarten teacher worsened when the economist began to harass her in writing by suggesting to her employers that she had had a breast-enlargement operation.
In court, the German, who now works as a mathematician at a research institute in Vienna, admitted that he had vented his frustration in this way. His lawyer pleaded for him to be let off as the offences were "hardly criminally triable" and claimed the woman had highly exaggerated the offences.
The victim had also claimed CHF 5000 damages against the man but this was refused.
In summing up, the judge said the whole case had been blown up out of all sense of proportion and had led to a mountain of documents having to be sifted through.

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