Campus, News

Orange County community urges firing of CSULB professor after acts of sexual misconduct, harassment at former job

By: Lauren Ramirez, Ulysses Villa and Fernando Haro

A Chicano and Latinx studies lecturer is under fire after more than a dozen Orange County residents, including city officials, signed a letter on Wednesday, Oct. 27, to petition for his termination from Long Beach State for several past sexual misconduct allegations.

“Perez does not belong in the classroom, should not be associated with a public university, and his hiring is a low point for CSULB,” the 19 signers of the letter said. “We call upon you to immediately terminate him to keep the students of CSULB safe from this dangerous man.”

According to the letter, Perez engaged in inappropriate behavior such as “showing Orange County Labor Federation (OCLF) interns pornography, engaged in unwanted sexual acts and retaliated against an employee who he sexually abused,” but has not been criminally charged.

The Daily Forty-Niner reached out to Julio Perez for comment but did not receive an immediate response.

Jeff Cook, CSULB associate vice president of strategic communications said the university is unable to provide specific information on personnel matters regarding Perez.

“We are engaged in a detailed review of the matter, and how practices and procedures can change in the future, as appropriate,” he said.

The investigation into the accusations started in mid-October 2017, around the time of the #MeToo movement, after several women spoke up through Facebook posts about being affected by Perez’s non-consensual actions.

During this time, Gilbert Davila, president of OCLF, acknowledged the #MeToo movement and held Perez accountable for his inappropriate behavior through a brief statement, according to the Voice of OC.

“There is no place for sexual assault and harassment in our county, but it exists everywhere, as evidenced by the #metoo movement,” he said. “We know that even though we fight against harassment on a daily basis, we are also not immune from it happening in our house.”

In 2018, the Orange County Labor Federation (OCLF) fired Perez, who was the executive director at the time, due to the multiple sexual harassment testimonies from women in the workplace, according to the Voice of OC.

Four years after Perez’s termination, the letter stated that “Perez has not once publicly apologized, shown any remorse, or demonstrated that he has rehabilitated himself in any way” towards the women affected by his inappropriate behavior.

Ada Briceño, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Orange County, said Perez’s inappropriate actions remained “raw” in their minds and does not believe it’s “conducive to hold a position as a professor.”

“It’s outrageous what our community went through here in Orange County,” she said. “We don’t think he should be teaching as a professor at CSULB after what happened four years ago.”

This is a developing story and further updates will be included soon.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Daily 49er newsletter