A former Bellevue College (BC) employee has filed a lawsuit alleging the school failed to protect her from being manipulated, abused and raped for years by her boss.
The 29-year old woman has accused Faisal Jaswal, the former assistant dean of student programs at the college, of using his position to sexually abuse her. According to a protection order filed in December 2017, Jaswal is accused of manipulating his front desk assistant into sex and sexual abuse starting in 2010.
Jaswal told the woman he would fire her if she reported the abuse or rape, according to court documents.
“For five years, Mr. Jaswal forced me to have intercourse with him through coercion, physically assaulted me, and degraded me,” the survivor stated in the 2017 protection order. “He also threatened to force me into prostitution and threatened that men would abduct me and rape me or traffic me…he has threatened to kill me and female members of my family on several occasions.”
The lawsuit, filed in early August, targets the college and Washington state by extension. The lawsuit claims the school fostered a hostile work environment and failed to protect the woman from Jaswal, who has been the subject of several sexual harassment claims from college employees and students.
The woman has intellectual delays that made it easier for Jaswal to manipulate her, court documents state. The Seattle PI reports the woman has the mental capacity of a 14-year-old and that college officials were aware of her intellectual limitations. Her lawyer, Julie Kays, filed the lawsuit.
The woman began working as a student employee for Jaswal’s office in 2009, and was quickly promoted to a full-time employee. She began interacting with Jaswal outside of work with other employees in 2010. Jaswal allegedly began coaxing her into one-on-one dates where he would sexually harass her and eventually pressured her into sex, court documents state.
The woman claimed the relationship escalated to involve derogatory sexual abuse and violence.
The woman first reported the abuse in August 2016, and a 2017 Bellevue Police Department investigation remains open.
In 2014 or 2015, the woman’s co-workers reported concerns to Bellevue College officials that Jaswal was taking advantage of her, according to the Seattle PI. This was followed by other reports from employees who were concerned that Jaswal had sexually harassed other students and employees, the lawsuit states.
In the December 2017 protection order, the woman stated she feared for her life and the lives ofher female family members who Jaswal had threatened to kill. Jaswal was forced to surrender his five firearms as a result of the protection order.
Jaswal no longer works at Bellevue College, and in a statement, the school said it removed Jaswal once they were “made aware” of the abuse.
“Bellevue College does not tolerate harassment, discrimination, retaliation or the misuse of positions of power,” the statement reads. “We are a diverse and inclusive higher education community and are deeply troubled when there are reports of behaviors inconsistent with our values.”
The statement was released earlier this month in response to the lawsuit and did not detail any specific disciplinary action taken against Jaswal. The college reports it has hired an independent investigator to review the sexual harassment claims.
“Bellevue College has stringent policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and anti-discrimination that ensure swift action once we are aware of a situation,” the statement continued. “Nevertheless, we will continue to review safeguards we have in place while providing a structure that encourages students and staff to come forward at the first indication of wrongdoing.”
According to Seattle PI, the woman’s attorneys claim Bellevue College had placed Jaswal on paid administrative leave after the initial sexual abuse report and allowed him to retire months later.