The University of Central Oklahoma has settled a civil lawsuit with 12 former students and employees who accused the school’s former debate coach of harassment and retaliation.
The Journal Record reported that the suit was settled out of court Aug. 25. The terms of the settlement are private and included a confidentiality agreement, said Adrienne Nobles, a spokeswoman for UCO.
“The matter is considered resolved by all parties,” Nobles said.
The lawsuit claimed former debate coach Eric Marlow threatened to take away a scholarship from a freshman if she didn’t have sex with him. The student also accused Marlow of sending her threatening text and Facebook messages.
Other plaintiffs claimed that Marlow pressured members of the debate team to drink and smoke marijuana.
Marlow left UCO in December 2010. Marlow’s attorney, Jill Tsiakilos, declined to comment on the case except to say that the matter had been settled.
The lawsuit sought damages in excess of $100,000, along with punitive damages and legal fees. The Regional University System of Oklahoma, which governs the University of Central Oklahoma, voted in July to allow its attorneys to settle the lawsuit, said Sheridan McCaffree, executive director of RUSO.
If taxpayer dollars are used to pay damages in a legal settlement, the terms of the agreement may eventually be made public under the state’s public records law. UCO’s Nobles said that the formal details of the settlement were still being finalized.
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