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A group of students walks through the Parade Ground on Mar. 3, 2021 toward the LSU Law Center.

Sexual misconduct allegations involving an AgCenter researcher who was disciplined in 2017 for allegedly stalking, harassing and sexually assaulting a female graduate student emerged after the Daily Report uncovered details on the Title IX case.

Niranjan Baisakh, associate professor in the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences, allegedly began sexually harassing one of his female graduate students in 2014, according to an LSU police report filed in 2016. 

In the police report, which was first obtained by the Daily Report, the victim accuses Baisakh of allegedly entering her office, locking the door and telling her about how “everyone in the department was having immoral relationships.”

He is also facing accusations of taking unwanted pictures of her, hugging her and begging her to “please love me, please be mine,” according to the police report.

The police report also describes how as time went on, Baisakh’s actions became more inappropriate. He allegedly touched her breast and kissed her while they were in a greenhouse. When she stopped him, he allegedly threatened to kill himself, telling her she would be responsible.

The victim claims that in 2015, Baisakh allegedly began to follow her around campus and show up uninvited to her apartment.

He began coercing her to join him for drinks at The Chimes and he told her that if she refused, he would tell colleagues that her research was deficient.

In April 2016, Baisakh’s actions further escalated the situation. When she refused to meet him at The Chimes, he allegedly locked her office door before asking her to have sex with him, according to the police report. The victim allegedly had to grab a knife from her desk to get Baisakh to leave, the report says.

The victim declined to press charges against Baisakh.

According to Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, multiple on-campus sources familiar with the situation say that administrators within the AgCenter launched their own internal Title IX investigation into the matter after the police report was filed.

As a result of the investigation, Baisakh’s academic tenure was “removed” for a period of three years. 

He was allowed to remain as a researcher at the AgCenter but he was not allowed to have any graduate students work for him.

In March 2020, he was once again allowed to work directly with graduate research assistants and his tenure was reinstated.

These allegations of sexual assault outside of the athletic department come at a critical time as the University is facing multiple allegations of mishandling sexual misconduct complaints against students and top athletes over the span of several years.

The U.S. Department of Education recently informed the University that it has opened a second investigation into LSU’s handling of sexual assault and harassment claims. 

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