KCBD Investigates: Sexual Harassment allegations spark Title IX Investigation at Texas Tech

Sexual Harassment allegations spark Title IX Investigation at Texas Tech
Published: Jun. 4, 2016 at 12:38 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2016 at 12:49 AM CDT
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Dr. Lance Nail
Dr. Lance Nail

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We have new details surrounding the startling allegations that a Texas Tech University employee and faculty member sexually harassed a student on a university trip.

As we first reported on Thursday, that allegation sparked a Title IX Investigation.

The report concluded that Dr. Lance Nail, former Dean of the Rawls College of Business, knew about concerns surrounding his friend and colleague Dr. Franco Parisi.

The report states that Dr. Parisi made drinks for a female staff member at the university during work hours and then left her unattended when she became intoxicated and passed out.

This investigation concluded that Dr. Parisi "abandoned the staff member in a life-threatening condition."

According to this report, Dr. Nail knew about this incident, but encouraged Dr. Parisi to go on a university-sponsored trip to Chile that spawned even more disturbing allegations.

Dr. Parisi was a Visiting International Scholar from Chile in the Department of Finance at the Rawls College of Business from September 1st of 2014 through May 31st of 2015.

In addition to his background in finance, Dr. Parisi had recently been a presidential candidate in Chile and had many relationships in the country.

Dr. Parisi helped plan the itinerary for the Rawls Business Leadership Program for the Chile portion of the trip and even arranged the lodging at a hostel owned by someone he knew.

Eleven students, seven females and four males went on this trip.

One of the females, who we will refer to as Student 1, was a 19-year-old junior in the College of Business at the time.

She reported that Dr. Parisi took the group out for drinks at the beginning of the trip, which is when she noticed she became the object of his attention, attention which she said made her feel uncomfortable.

When she asked Dr. Parisi if he was going to run for president a second time, his response was, "only if you will be my first lady."

This investigation reports that Dr. Parisi planned events that were not on the itinerary, like a night of dancing.

Having not packed appropriate clothing, Dr. Parisi took the girls in the group shopping and insisted on giving Student 1 $100 in Chilean money.

When Student 1 tried on a dress at the mall, Dr. Parisi asked why she didn't buy it.

Student 1 responded that the dress was too short.

That's when she said Dr. Parisi whispered to her, "That's the point," making her feel uncomfortable.

That evening, Dr. Parisi hosted a dinner at his home for the entire group, where he reportedly made comments about Student 1's figure and touched her waist at least twice.

At one point during the evening, Dr. Parisi is reported as saying "Look at her, if I was president, I would kidnap her."

The students said he also drove some of them around in his personal vehicle and put his hand on Student 1's knee, massaging it.

Later in the trip he asked that student if she had received the package he had left for her at the hotel.

He told her he had bought the dress that he commented on at the mall.
Student 1 notified a chaperone who called Dr. Nail a reported 32 times over the trip.

Several of the phone calls centered around Dr. Parisi's behavior.

This investigation says the student remained extremely uncomfortable throughout the trip, especially since the group was staying at a hostel owned by someone close to Dr. Parisi.

In fact, Student 1 was so fearful, that several other female students stayed with her in her room that night so she did not have to be alone.

Even the female chaperone reportedly stayed awake, pacing back and forth.

Students reported being very fearful because of Dr. Parisi's relationships in the country.

29 people were interviewed during this investigation.

Students on the trip described Dr. Parisi as "completely inappropriate."

Student 1 said she was worried whether she could trust Dr. Nail because Dr. Parisi was a good friend.

A male student confirmed that Dr. Parisi asked him to take pictures of Student 1 and send them to him.

One student described Dr. Parisi as "Flirtatious and definitely interested in Student 1 in a romantic and sexual way."

One student commented, "Franco seemed like he was obsessed with Student 1. He literally targeted her, and it seemed like it was almost planned by Franco."

Two students confirmed seeing Dr. Parisi put his hand on Student 1's knee and thigh.

This angered and shocked them, so the students then came together to make sure that Dr. Parisi did not touch Student 1 again.

The investigation concludes that Dr. Nail was the only person who was fully aware of Dr. Parisi's prior incidents and still allowed him to go on this trip.

We are now looking at Dr. Nail's response to this investigation and whether Dr. Parisi went to the University of Alabama without any warning from Texas Tech expressing concerns about his behavior.

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