Professor, Student|in Dueling Lawsuits

     HOUSTON (CN) – Prairie View A&M University fired a professor after a student tried to extort $9,000 from him with false allegations of sexual assault, the professor claims in court.
     J.D. Oliver sued Prairie View A&M University and the Texas A&M University System on Tuesday in Federal Court. Prairie View A&M is a historically black college 45 miles northwest of Houston.
     Oliver taught computer science at Prairie View for 32 years and was six weeks from retirement when the school fired him over bogus sexual assault allegations from his student Lisa Mims, he says in the complaint.
     Mims is not a party to this lawsuit. Oliver sued her and her boyfriend Joshua Jackson in March. A federal judge dismissed that case with prejudice for lack of jurisdiction.
     Mims and Jackson have filed their own lawsuit against Oliver.
     In the new lawsuit, Oliver calls himself a “feeble” man who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes and erectile dysfunction “and has no sexual desires and function to commit the sexual conduct as alleged.”
     Oliver says he stopped by an IHOP restaurant for breakfast on his way to campus on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, where he planned to catch up on test grading.
     He says he took medication that made him dizzy so he went next door and rented a room at a Best Western hotel to rest until the drugs wore off. While staying in the hotel room to grade papers, he got a call from Mims, and told her she could drop off a borrowed textbook there since she was working nearby, according to the complaint.
     The professor says Mims showed up with three men, including her boyfriend Joshua Jackson, and they weren’t there to help her drop off a book.
     “One big guy pushed Mr. Oliver to the floor, then picked him up, held his hands behind his back, while one of the other guys began shouting, ‘We need $9,000 tonight. You are a professor, you work at Prairie View, you have money, and we need $9,000 tonight,'” the complaint states.
     One man held him down as another rifled through his wallet and took his credit cards, driver’s license, $11 and his cell phone, Oliver says.
     “The guys began taking pictures of the feeble Mr. Oliver and held a blue box of condoms near Oliver’s face and took additional pictures,” according to the complaint.
     When they left, Oliver went to the front desk and told the clerk he had been robbed and she called police.
     Mims and Jackson were charged with felony theft and robbery, but the charges were dropped in September 2014 .
     Oliver claims Mims and Jackson persisted in their extortion demands, sending him an email “threatening to ruin his marriage, his job and his reputation, if ‘you do not do what you need to do,'” and leaving three notes at his house demanding that he contact Mims. “Oliver did not contact her,” he says in the lawsuit.
     Mims and Jackson then decided to ruin his professional reputation, he claims.
     “On or about April 7, 2014, Lisa Mims and Joshua Jackson filed false complaints with the university alleging sexual misconduct by Mr. Oliver. She claimed Oliver cornered her and touched her breast which physically he is incapable of doing,” the complaint states.
     Mims allegedly told the school’s investigator that Oliver said he would give her an A if she met him at the hotel room.
     Oliver says the school investigator’s inquiry was biased because she interviewed Mims face to face, but refused to meet with him in person.
     “Instead the university insisted upon interviewing Oliver once by telephone during a period when he was heavily medicated,” he claims, alleging due process violations.
     He seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, breach of contract and defamation.
     His attorney Debra Jennings of Missouri City asked to be emailed questions about the lawsuit but did not respond to them.
     Prairie View A&M’s attorney Brian Bricker said the school does not comment on pending litigation.
     With Oliver’s lawsuit added to the pending federal complaint Mims and Jackson filed against him, it’s up to U.S. District Judge Sim Lake to sort out the facts from the fiction.
     Mims’ and Jackson’s attorney, Jerry Friedman of Cypress, said in an email that he doesn’t buy Oliver’s claims that due to his health problems he “has no sexual desires and function to commit the sexual misconduct as alleged.”
     “I believe that Oliver is manipulating these terms like President Clinton did after he was caught. And whether this was all for sex or just to feel dominant over a young woman, we will never know,” Friedman said.
     In a typical move for sexual predators, Friedman said, Oliver is blaming the victim. “There was never any demand for money and it’s cruel and dishonest for Oliver to say there was any demand for anything. Lisa’s sole concern throughout Oliver’s mess was that she received an honest grade without being required to have sex to get it,” the attorney said.
     Friedman said the police and university believed Mims’ version of events because she recorded her phone conversations with Oliver to protect herself. “If she hadn’t recorded him, the police and university might have believed Oliver’s story that she robbed him and she could be in prison right now,” Friedman said.

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