It took more than a year, but Foothill College’s independent review of allegations that Dominic Caserta sexually harassed one of his students has finally come to a close.
And the findings don’t look good for the disgraced poli-sci professor and former Santa Clara councilman, whose campaign for higher office was derailed last year by the same young woman who filed the complaint at Foothill.
An investigation summary dated July 22 and signed by a three-member personnel panel deemed the accuser, 21-year-old German exchange student Lydia Jungkind, more credible than the accused.
“Most compellingly, her accounts were largely corroborated by documentary evidence including contemporaneous text messages between Ms. Jungkind and other[s] regarding the alleged incidents.”
Caserta, apparently, was less convincing.
“On the other hand, the witness and documentary evidence tended to refute several of Mr. Caserta’s material representations, including his ‘exoneration’ of wrongdoing following a prior allegation of sexual harassment, statements from witnesses that directly contradict Mr. Caserta’s statements, and his apparent misrepresentation to a De Anza College administrator that he had been ‘cleared’ to return to teaching (when in fact he had not),” the ruling reads.
To add insult to Caserta’s self-inflicted injury, a key witness he handpicked to help his case wound up making things worse by contradicting his version of events.
Ultimately, the panel convened by the Foothill-De Anza College District upheld six findings of misconduct by Caserta, including that he showered Jungkind with comments about how “hot” and “sexy” she is, thrust his crotch against her butt and, in multiple instances, couldn’t seem to keep his grubby paws off his then-19-year-old pupil and part-time campaign aide.
The DA may have cited a lack of evidence when it declined to prosecute Caserta for sexual battery last year, but at least, for Jungkind’s sake, accountability has come in other forms.