Sujit Choudhry
Sujit Choudhry has filed a lawsuit against UC Berkeley, alleging the university used him as a scapegoat to repair the system’s image.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — One week after his return to work sparked protest on the campus of UC Berkeley, law professor Sujit Choudhry —accused of sexually harassing his assistant — fired back in federal court against the university system with a racial bias lawsuit.

Filed Thursday, the lawsuit alleges the system and its president, Janet Napolitano, made the former law school dean a “pariah” to distract the public from UC’s botched handling of a string of sexual harassment cases.

“By targeting Professor Choudhry, who is of South Asian descent and a non-U.S. citizen, the University hopes to deflect attention from its failure to meaningfully punish Caucasian faculty and administrators who were found to have committed appalling sexual misconduct,” stated the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

The suit also names outgoing UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and other campus leaders.

A UC Berkeley spokesperson told Diya TV Thursday the university had just become aware of the lawsuit. “At this point what can be said is that the university intends to mount a vigorous and successful defense,” said Dan Mogulof.

A campus investigation concluded that Choudhry had repeatedly subjected his executive assistant, Tyann Sorrell, to hugs, kisses and caresses. However, Choudhry — who was given a one-time, 10 percent pay cut and agreed to write a letter of apology and undergo training — was initially allowed to retain his powerful position within the law school. He stepped down months later, in March, after Sorrell filed a lawsuit and the case became public.

Days after the story surfaced, Napolitano ordered a second round of disciplinary proceedings against Choudhry. In a strongly worded letter ordering the probe, the president directed Dirks to “immediately take steps to ensure that Sujit Choudhry does not return to campus for the remainder of the term.”

Choudhry returned to the law school this month, though he is not teaching.

He argues, in the suit, that the university used him to repair the system’s image — and that the university, which he said is now trying to fire him, violated his rights by reopening the case.

“In the spring of 2016, when the University’s inconsistent response to sexual harassment became the subject of national media attention, University President Janet Napolitano chose to use the case of Sujit Choudhry … as a means to try to improve the University’s image as well as her own,” the suit says.