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Indiana Daily Student

IU alumni come forward with additional sexual harassment allegations against Murray McGibbon

A second man has alleged IU associate professor Murray McGibbon sexually harassed him when he was a freshman. Two more women have said allegations of McGibbon’s misconduct date back to 2008, six years more than previously reported.

The Indiana Daily Student published an investigation Monday detailing years of allegations against McGibbon, who teaches acting and directing in the Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance. 

Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Eliza Pavalko determined more than a year ago that McGibbon sexually harassed then-freshman Josh Hogan and “exhibited a pattern of singling out some students and giving them undue attention,” according to a 2019 decision letter following a Title IX investigation. 

Caleb Curtis, who graduated in 2019, says he was also part of that pattern. 

Curtis was a senior when Hogan was a freshman. They both auditioned for “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia” in 2018. McGibbon ultimately cast Hogan, who later alleged McGibbon sexually harassed him during auditions and rehearsals for the show.

Hogan confided in Curtis about McGibbon’s behavior during that process, both men said. 

“It was actually through Josh that I realized that what had happened to me was crossing a line,” Curtis said.

Both men are blond-haired, blue-eyed and small-framed. They both allege McGibbon sexually harassed them when they were freshmen. 

Curtis says when he was a freshman, McGibbon called him repeatedly from his personal phone, left messages when Curtis didn’t answer, invited Curtis to his house, offered to take Curtis to London and said “I love you” multiple times. Curtis said McGibbon told him his affection for him was fatherly love.  

Curtis said he forgave these actions at the time because of the opportunities McGibbon awarded him in the department. McGibbon cast him in productions starting his freshman year, praised him abundantly in class and helped him secure a scholarship to stay at IU, Curtis said. 

As reported in Monday’s IDS investigation, Hogan would later allege McGibbon took him on a daytrip for lunch and a movie, invited him on an all-expenses paid trip to Greece, asked him to stay back alone at night after a cast readthrough at his house, told him he loved him, changed a scene in the show to expose Hogan’s body, called him almost daily to chat about matters unrelated to the show and offered him alcohol underage, according to the Title IX investigation report and interviews with Hogan.

Hogan shared these incidents with Curtis as they happened in fall 2018. Curtis said he recognized McGibbon had done some of the same things to him three years earlier. 

“I noticed that there was a pattern, and that it was getting worse,” Curtis said.

He said McGibbon taking Hogan on a daytrip to Nashville, Indiana, for lunch and a movie was a red flag to him. 

McGibbon told Title IX investigators he took Hogan to Nashville because he was a new student and “his audition was not good,” according to the investigation report. 

Curtis said he reported McGibbon to IU’s Office of Institutional Equity in early 2019, about a month after Hogan reported. Curtis said at the time, he wanted to show the Title IX investigators that “this has happened before, and it can happen again.” 

“I just really was scared what would happen two years down the line when the next pretty blond-haired, blue eyed boy would come down the pipeline,” Curtis said. “If it’s going to get worse, what’s the next step?”

Curtis said McGibbon’s behavior negatively affected his self-esteem. 

“Maybe what was driving my opportunities wasn't my actual talent, but more a man's weird and unhealthy infatuation with a student,” he said he recalled feeling.

Two other people accused McGibbon of misconduct during IU’s Title IX investigation into Hogan’s allegations, IU spokesperson Chuck Carney confirmed in an email. The IDS independently confirmed one of these complaints was Curtis’. The other complaint alleged racial discrimination.

Pavalko determined McGibbon only violated the sexual misconduct policy for one complaint, Carney said. Documents show this complaint was Hogan’s.

Curtis said he didn’t realize the outcome of his complaint until reading the IDS’ investigation Monday. 

The IDS also published students’ allegations that McGibbon asked undergraduate women, including freshmen, to audition in bikinis and have their pictures taken in 2014 and 2016. After the IDS story published, two 2012 alumnae alleged McGibbon asked women to audition in bikinis during callbacks for a 2008 production of "Hamlet. "

Jacque Donahue was a freshman at the 2008 auditions. She said McGibbon asked a group of eight to10 women to line up on stage in bikinis and walked up and down the line as if he was inspecting them.

She said didn’t think it was wrong at the time because it was her first college audition, and she didn’t know what to expect. Donahue said she’s gone to hundreds of auditions since graduating. The audition with McGibbon still sticks out in her memory.

“I’ve never been asked to do anything like that since,” she said.

When asked to respond to a detailed list of questions and allegations for the initial story, McGibbon sent a statement through his lawyer saying McGibbon’s “ability to dispute false claims” against him was restricted by privacy laws such as FERPA and IU’s Title IX process. 

Emily Springton, IU’s Director of Institutional Equity and Title IX, said the university does not prohibit individuals from speaking about investigations they are involved in, though they are encouraged to “maintain privacy.”

McGibbon’s lawyer did not respond Thursday afternoon to the additional allegations outlined in this story.

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