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Student Calls Professor Way Out of Line

HOUSTON (CN) - A college student claims in court that a professor tried to rape her after promising her an A if she slept with him, and that when she confronted him with her boyfriend, lied to police that they had robbed him.

Lisa Mims and her boyfriend Joshua Jackson sued J.D. Oliver on March 11 in Federal Court.

Mims claims that she approached Oliver, the professor of her Introduction to Computers class at Prairie View A&M University in the fall 2013 semester, and told him she had fallen behind in the course because she was overloaded with classes and a full-time job, and did not have a copy of the textbook.

Prairie View A&M is a historically black college 45 miles northwest of Houston.

Mims says Oliver agreed to "work with" her, which she understood as meaning he would let her turn assignments in late. But Mims says the professor had something else in mind.

She says she met Oliver in his office on Nov. 5, 2013 and he offered to get her a textbook and told her "not to stress" about turning work in late. But a few days later in his office, Mims claims, Oliver told her he had other ideas.

"Oliver told Mims that his reasons for working with Mims and getting her the book was because he was attracted to her," the complaint states.

"Further, Oliver said that he liked her because he liked 'big breasts, light skin, [and] young women.' Further, Oliver said that he wanted her to 'love' him in return for his helping her. Oliver asked Mims to meet him off campus for sex." (Brackets in complaint.)

Mims says she told her boyfriend, Joshua Jackson, about the professor's proposition.

"Jackson recommended that they record future conversations with Oliver to protect her from false allegations that might arise later," according to the complaint.

Mims says Oliver began applying more pressure on her, again asking her to "meet off campus" and telling her "she 'should not worry about taking the final.'"

She claims that Oliver got physical at a meeting in his office on Nov. 19, 2013, that began with the professor making more proposals.

"Oliver stated that if Mims met with him off campus, he would allow Mims to enter her own 'A' grade into the school grading system," the lawsuit states.

It continues: "Mims told Oliver that his suggestions were inappropriate, that since she was his student, he should not be sexually attracted to her, that he was married, and that for all of these reasons she could not meet with him off campus."

Mims says she got up to leave Oliver's office. "At this moment, Oliver attempted to rape Mims for the first time," the complaint states.

Mims claims Oliver closed the door, pulled her against him and squeezed her breast before she pushed him away and bolted from his office.

Undeterred, Oliver repeatedly called Mims' cellphone, and asked her "if the deal was still on," until she agreed to meet him at a Best Western motel, she says.

Mims says she took Jackson and two other men with her to the motel and when the professor opened the door to his room they all walked in.

"Jackson told Oliver that he was 'busted.' Jackson played the recordings that he and Mims made of Oliver's conversations with Mims," the complaint states.

"Oliver responded, 'I was just trying to help a student.' Oliver asked, 'What can I do to make this go away?' Mims noticed a box of Trojan condoms. Jackson took the box and photographed Oliver with it."

Mims and Jackson say they and their friends left the room without further incident, and Oliver ran to the motel's front desk clerk and said he had been robbed.

Oliver told the responding policeman that he was staying at the motel "because his wife was having the carpets cleaned at their residence and he had paperwork to complete," according to the complaint.

It continues: "Oliver said that his student, Mims, arranged to return a textbook to him at the motel, but she showed with three men. Oliver said further that Mims and the three men demanded nine thousand dollars ($9,000.00) from him, but instead they took his cell phone, keys to his Jeep, and wallet with thirteen dollars ($13.00) and four credit cards."

The officer was suspicious of Oliver's story. He wrote in his report: "Based on my thirty-four years of experience and training as a street cop, a seventy-five year old man meeting a twenty-four [sic] year old female, in a motel on a Saturday afternoon to return a textbook, sets off several warning bells," according to the complaint.

But Mims and Jackson say they were charged with two felonies for theft and robbery.

Mims says she filed a formal complaint against Oliver with Prairie View A&M that resulted in the school firing Oliver in July 2014.

"Criminal charges against Mims and Jackson were dropped on or about Sept. 8, 2014," the complaint states.

Mims and Jackson seek punitive damages from Oliver for civil rights violations, official oppression, unlawful restraint, assault, defamation and malicious prosecution.

They are represented by Jerold Friedman of Cypress, a Houston suburb.

Prairie View A&M officials did not respond to a request for comment. The school is not a party to the complaint, though Does 1-20 are.

"Does 1-20 are individuals or institutions whose true identities are presently unknown, who facilitated or had a duty to prevent the violations of civil rights and torts described herein, whose identities will be added to this complaint when their identities are discovered," the complaint states.

Though the complaint states that Oliver "attempted to rape Mims for the second time" when she knocked on his motel room door, the complaint does not allege that there was any physical contact between them at that time.

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