Ithaca College Student Files Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Former Dean and College Employees

ITHACA, N.Y. – An Ithaca College student has recently filed a civil lawsuit against the college and a former associate dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications. The lawsuit alleges that the student was sexually abused and harassed by four employees, including the former associate dean. The student, who has been identified as John Doe for the purpose of the case, filed the lawsuit under the Adult Survivors Act and Title IX in the Supreme Court of the State of New York Tompkins County.

According to the complaint, the student was involved in an unwelcome and nonconsensual sexual relationship with Bryan Roberts, the former associate dean, from Fall 2021 to Spring 2023. The lawsuit claims that the college and the defendants were aware of the abuse, as Roberts allegedly used Grindr, a dating app, to connect with Ithaca College students as young as 19. Despite this knowledge, the defendants failed to intervene and prevent the assault and abuse, as stated in the complaint.

The student’s attorney, Erin Peake, declined to comment on the lawsuit, citing the need to protect Doe’s anonymity. On the other hand, Roberts expressed his intention to have the complaint completely dismissed, stating that a large part of the case has already been resolved. Roberts’s lawyer, Peter Glennon, could not be reached for comment.

As of now, there haven’t been any motions filed to dismiss the case, according to court records. Emily Rockett, the vice president and general counsel of Ithaca College, stated that the college will respond to the allegations through the court system at the appropriate time. Rockett also mentioned that the college’s Title IX office and Office of Human Resources thoroughly investigate reports of sexual harassment and violations of the college’s intimate relationship policy.

The lawsuit further alleges that the student reported the nonconsensual relationship with Roberts to two other college staff members, Jack Bryant and Andrew Lamendola, both of whom failed to take appropriate action. The defendants named in the lawsuit, Marc Greene, Casey Stebbins, and Ron Trunzo, were also accused of engaging in harmful and nonconsensual sexual advances.

Roberts left the college in August 2023 and is currently a visiting faculty member at the University of Connecticut. Stebbins was found in violation of college policies and is no longer listed in the staff and faculty directory. Greene was terminated in October 2023, and Trunzo resigned in November 2023 following the allegations.

Doe filed the lawsuit in November 2023, and the case was later removed from state court to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. The case is scheduled for the Initial Conference on January 31.

It is important to note that the college generally does not comment on pending litigation matters or confidential personnel matters.