CCSU responds to report about alleged sexual misconduct

Joshua Perlstein, an associate professor at CCSU, is accused of sexual misconduct with eight students and staff, according to a published report. (CCSU.edu)

A Central Connecticut State University professor accused of sexual misconduct with several students and employees has been placed on paid administrative leave.

CCSU president Zulma Toro released a statement about theatre associate professor Joshua Perlstein on Wednesday, two days after the school's student-run newspaper, The Recorder, published a report detailing several of the allegations.

Toro said the school plans to "fully and aggressively investigate the totality of allegations” of sexual misconduct.

Here's her entire statement:The past 24 hours have been very stressful for some of you after hearing reports of alleged sexual misconduct by one of our professors. I want you to know that we hear you. While participating in last night’s “Take Back The Night” event on campus, I was especially moved by our students who were brave enough to share their experiences with sexual assault, dating violence, and sexual harassment.This morning, we start anew, ensuring the CCSU campus is the welcoming, safe campus it should be.To that end, I have determined it is necessary to place Theatre Professor Joshua Perlstein on paid administrative leave while we fully and aggressively investigate the totality of allegations outlined in an article published yesterday in The Recorder student newspaper. To minimize the impact on his students, I’ve asked Brian Sommers, Interim Dean of the Ammon College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, and Scott Bartley, Theatre Department Chair, to work together in addressing students’ needs and concerns.For an impartial, third-party analysis, the University has retained the services of the law firm Shipman & Goodwin to review the alleged allegations. Concurrently, my Executive Committee is conducting its own comprehensive investigation.Getting to the bottom of how reports of alleged sexual misconduct were handled in the past and setting a new standard for their handling in the future is of the utmost importance to me – as the leader of this University and, quite frankly, as a woman in a male dominated field who has experienced the intended and unintended effects of sexual misconduct.As I told our students last night: the Central Family does not stand by – we stand up.

CCSU said on Tuesday that it was looking into the accusations, which according to The Recorder, date back at least a decade.

At least eight women have come forward, including Ana Brewer Kelly, who spoke to Channel 3.

"It's time for all of these good people to start doing something instead of just feeling bad," she said.

Perlstein is currently not facing charges.

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of this story.

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