Professor Peter Ludlow responded to the lawsuit filed against him by a Medill junior, according to NBC Chicago. Ludlow denies her allegations that he assaulted her and stated that the student pursued him.
In her initial legal filing, the student said on a February 2012 trip to an art show, Ludlow gave her alcohol and fondled her. He allegedly ignored her when she asked to be taken back to Evanston and instead took her to his apartment. The student says she eventually passed out there and woke up in his bed.
Ludlow’s attorney, Kristin Case, challenged the student’s allegations, saying she told the professor she wanted to date him. Ludlow also denies the allegations that he ordered her alcohol against her wishes and that she became intoxicated. He says he believed she was 22 and therefore older than a traditional freshman at the time. The student gave a different account in her lawsuit, saying the professor said he would “‘cover for her’ if the restaurant ask[ed] her to provide identification to prove that she is legally permitted to drink.”
"Defendant denies ordering wine for Plaintiff and affirmatively states that she ordered her own wine," the court document states, according to NBC Chicago. "Defendant denies that Plaintiff ever told him that she did not want to drink or that he insisted that she do so."
Ludlow further denies that he ignored the student’s requests to be taken back to Evanston and says he even offered to pay her cab fare back to Evanston. According to the professor, the student “suggested they go somewhere else.” He also says she asked, “Do you think I’m hot?” to which he replied, “Is that even a serious question?” She also leaned in and kissed him, he says.
Though Ludlow admits he did not pull away immediately, he says he told her to “cool it” as her kissing became more involved. He says she asked to stay at his apartment. He denies both groping her at his apartment and telling her that it was “inevitable they will have sex.”
For Northwestern’s investigation, Ludlow says he offered to provide security video from the elevator as well as receipts from the restaurant and bar to show the number of drinks ordered. According to court documents from the student’s lawsuit, the University established a committee “to determine what action should be taken against Ludlow” and that the committee decided “Ludlow should be terminated.” Ludlow called Northwestern’s inquiry a “flawed and one-sided investigation” in his filing.
Ludlow was never terminated, though he canceled his class this week after he received news of a planned student sit-in/walk-out. A substitute will replace him for the rest of the quarter. The University would not speculate about whether he will be teaching Spring Quarter.
The student’s lawyers responded late Friday to Ludlow’s claims, according NBC Chicago.
"Defendant Ludlow's Answer is untruthful to the extent that it is inconsistent with any of the allegations in my Client's Complaint. It remains to be seen how the factual inconsistencies between Defendant Ludlow's position and Defendant Northwestern's position will play out over the course of litigation. Beyond that, Defendant Ludlow seems to have taken the all too common ‘blame the victim’ position on sexual assault matters to a whole new level: he isn't just blaming the victim, he has actually attempted to make himself into the victim. Absurd," according to NBC Chicago’s account.