View Full Version : Professors accused of pimping out students got nearly $500K to study prostitution

The Bobster
09-09-2018, 07:27 PM

John Jay professors get hit with sex harassment allegations
By Melissa Klein and Sara Dorn
September 8, 2018 | 7:31pm

From left: Marcus Anthony, Barry Spunt and Curtis Ric
John Jay College

John Jay College has placed four professors — including three former department chairmen — on paid leave following sexual-harassment complaints, sources told The Post.

Among the accused are Barry Spunt, an associate sociology professor and former chair of that department; Anthony Marcus, a professor and former chair of the anthropology department; and Ric Curtis, a professor and former chair of the anthropology department and former interim chair of the department of law and police science. An adjunct professor also stands accused.

After The Post began asking questions late last week about the allegations, the Midtown-based public college’s president, Karol Mason, sent an e-mail alerting students and staffers to the situation.

“Upon receiving complaints alleging inappropriate conduct by certain faculty members, we launched an investigation into the matter and have engaged an outside investigator to assist us. We are committed to a swift, thorough, and fair investigation, which is ongoing,” Mason wrote Friday.

A John Jay grad student said of the message: “I was so disgusted that I deleted it. For someone to be teaching at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and engaging in [that behavior] is disgusting.

“It’s a place that is supposed to be better than that . . . They should be held to a higher standard . . . There’s no excuse for this.”

The state Inspector General’s Office is already probing other employment issues at John Jay, but a spokesman at the office would not comment on whether it was involved in this matter.

A college spokesman would not provide information other than to reiterate Mason’s statement. The college would not say if the accusers were students or staff or both.

The college is taxpayer-funded and part of the City University of New York. It enrolls some 15,000 students, many of whom aspire to join law enforcement or already work as cops and firefighters.

Public records show Curtis was paid $194,557 in 2017, Marcus got $150,854, and Spunt $125,362.

Spunt’s lawyer, Carmen Jack Giordano, said his client “plans on cooperating with their investigation, and he will be vindicated at the conclusion based on the evidence that I’ve seen of the falsity of the allegations made against him.”

Giordano would not detail the allegations other than to say they were “vague and nebulous” and made by a single individual.

“Professor Spunt is completely innocent, and it’s a shame how people with hidden agendas and nefarious intentions can manipulate the system and the public in the name of #MeToo,” he said.

Spunt has taught at John Jay since 1993. His research has included the history of heroin in New York City.

Marcus, whose automatic e-mail response said he was “on leave,” declined to comment to The Post when a reporter phoned.

The prof has done research in honor killings, prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children, according to his résumé.

Curtis, an oft-quoted expert on drug use and the heroin market in New York City, did not respond to requests for comment. He joined John Jay as an adjunct in 1988.

Tabrina Youmans, a 2017 John Jay grad who did research with Curtis, called him low-key, “understanding and approachable.”

“I don’t see his behavior ever being misconstrued as anything other than professional even outside of a classroom setting,” Youmans said.

Classes at John Jay, on West 59th Street, began on Aug. 27.

The college faced a controversy last September after Michael Isaacson, an adjunct economics professor there and self-proclaimed anti-fascist activist, tweeted that “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops.” He was put on leave and no longer teaches there.

And last fall, the college came under fire for hosting an exhibit of art by Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The Inspector General’s Office last year launched a probe into the college’s employment of two retired NYPD cops to chauffeur former President Jeremy Travis, who resigned in August 2017.

Both ex-cops were collecting state pensions, and most of their pay came from the CUNY Research Foundation to skirt state rules that prevented them from holding taxpayer-funded jobs without a waiver.

The Bobster
09-30-2018, 08:30 PM

John Jay professors accused of pimping out students got $500K to study prostitution
By Sara Dorn and Melissa Klein
5-6 minutes

In a shocking irony, the John Jay College professors accused of pimping out their students raked in more than half a million dollars in government money to study prostitution.

Thousands more in taxpayer and non-profit cash poured in for the academics to study addiction — at the same time the profs were allegedly running their own on-campus snakepit called “the swamp” where drugs were sold and used.

Four professors at the publicly funded criminal justice college are on paid leave while the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and State Inspector General probe allegations they brought the underworld they studied into the hallways of John Jay.

Accusations of rape, sexual harassment, facilitating prostitution, and using and selling drugs first surfaced several weeks ago in the written complaints of two John Jay graduates, which were shared with The Post and authorities.

Investigators from the NYPD’s special victims unit, the Inspector General’s Office and the DA’s sex crimes unit interviewed one of the accusers, Naomi Haber, in a four-hour-long meeting Thursday, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

A representative of the DA’s financial crimes unit was also present as part of a probe into whether the profs misused grant money, according to a source.

They pulled in nearly $1 million from 2005 to 2016, according to a Post analysis.

Separately, the NYPD is analyzing what appear to be various controlled substances found in the offices of the professors during an August raid, the source said. The NYPD confirmed Saturday that “a quantity of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were vouchered” at Midtown North on Sept. 10.

Prostitution research was a cash cow for two of the professors, Ric Curtis and Anthony Marcus. Curtis received a $520,000 grant in 2005 from the US Department of Justice to research child sex workers in New York City. He also led a study on young people working in the sex trade as part of a $1.3 million federally-funded research project in Atlantic City and other cities across the US.

But the feds halted the Atlantic City study in 2012 after receiving “serious allegations in regards to the human subjects’ activities undertaken as part of research,” according to a copy of an investigation into the study’s methods.

Among the issues was whether Curtis handed out cigarettes to underage sex workers. Investigators eventually found that Curtis offered smokes to people who agreed to connect him with prostitutes to interview, but he did not give them to interview subjects, according to the investigators’ report, which was obtained by The Post.

Curtis later wrote that “the findings from my research in 2008 and 2010 earned me scorn among a number of leading practitioners in the field of rescuing these children because it undermined the rationale behind their appeals for funding,” according to an email he sent to one of the alleged victims that was included in her complaint.

One of his controversial “findings” was that most teen prostitutes did not have pimps, and were not led into the sex trade by pimps.

Marcus also wrote about the Atlantic City research in a letter to one of his accusers: “I had a rather intimate interview with a 19-year-old sex worker where I started to feel a friendship developing … we cut it off quickly there, and did not go in any deeper. She died the next week — again, numbness, confusion, fatigue. Actually, I left her out of that article about research.”

In a study of young sex workers in NYC, according to Slate, the researchers found that pimps and prostitutes often didn’t fit the stereotypical mold of coercion and violence.

Marcus noted in the article that one sex worker told him she led her pimp to believe he coerced her into the sex game in order to maintain the “narrative of hypermasculine enticement and feminine vulnerability.

“It’s like when you listen to couples debating about who made the move on who,” Marcus told Slate.

Haber has accused Marcus of violently raping her during a weekend they attended a conference in Washington, D.C. in 2015.

The National Institutes of Health also gave Curtis $25,518 for a study on the HIV epidemic, and he and Marcus received $20,000 from the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice to research homeless encampments.

The AHA Foundation for women’s rights awarded Marcus $120,000 to study “honor killings, female genital cutting and forced marriage in the United States” in 2011.

Marcus and Curtis also got $6,000 for a sex worker mapping project, and $45,000 from the National Institute of Justice for an evaluation of the Red Hook Community Court.