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Three Dartmouth professors accused of sexual misconduct

Baker Memorial Library and Rauner Library on the Dartmouth College Green. (iStock)

Three Dartmouth College professors accused of sexual misconduct are under criminal investigation by state and local authorities.

The New Hampshire attorney general’s office said Tuesday that it would conduct a joint investigation into the matter. The announcement comes after officials at the Ivy League college said professors of psychology and brain sciences Todd Heatherton, Bill Kelley and Paul Whalen had been put on paid administrative leave and had their access to the campus restricted because of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Details of the allegations were not released.

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Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon wrote Tuesday in an email to students and staff members: “It is important to remember that investigations are ongoing, with no official findings yet produced. However, we take these allegations very seriously and are pursuing our own independent investigations in coordination with law enforcement officials.”

“I want to say in the most emphatic way possible that sexual misconduct and harassment are unacceptable and have no place at Dartmouth,” he added.

The professors did not immediately respond to phone calls and emails seeking comment. An email to Heatherton returned with an automatic reply that he is “on sabbatical and not monitoring this email account until September 2018.”

It’s unclear whether the three have attorneys.

Dartmouth spokeswoman Diana Lawrence said last week that the college was conducting its own investigation into the allegations of “serious misconduct.”

“We are engaged in a thorough and impartial process that protects the rights of all parties and promotes the safety of our campus community,” Lawrence said in a statement provided to The Washington Post.

Following a news story on the allegations by the college newspaper, the Dartmouth, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said in a statement Tuesday that his office “engaged in a dialogue with Dartmouth College and we have learned from the College that it has received allegations of sexual misconduct.” He said that “based on the information provided,” the state attorney general’s office will open a criminal investigation along with the Grafton County Attorney’s Office, New Hampshire State Police, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Office and the Hanover Police Department.

“Dartmouth College has pledged to work with this investigation to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of their community,” MacDonald said.

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