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An adjunct professor at Rutgers was previously arrested for sexual assault

While teaching at Fairleigh Dickinson University, professor Sombudha Adhikari reportedly groped a female student, prompting her to alert authorities. Adhikari was arrested and charged with fourth degree criminal sexual misconduct. – Photo by Wikimedia

Rutgers University placed adjunct professor Sombudha Adhikari on administrative leave yesterday in light of a previous criminal sexual misconduct charge brought to attention by The Daily Targum.

According to a June 2009 article from The Daily Record, police arrested the current Rutgers Business School lecturer in 2009 for inappropriately grabbing the breasts and inner thighs of one of his students at Fairleigh Dickinson University. At the time, he was teaching courses as a part-time lecturer at both schools. 

Adhikari pled guilty to the sexual misconduct charges in court, disclosing to the judge that he had “sought to gratify himself by letting his hand fall between the woman’s thighs.” The victim told police that the incident took place after an exam in a classroom on Fairleigh Dickinson’s main campus, according to The Daily Record.

Adhikari was released on a $5,000 bail and terminated from his position at Fairleigh Dickinson almost nine years ago, but Adhikari’s employment status at Rutgers remained active. He teaches multiple sections in the business departments at both Rutgers—Newark and the University’s flagship campus. 

Peter Englot, the senior vice chancellor for Public Affairs at Rutgers—Newark, said the University renewed the professor’s contract in 2015, though he was initially hired in 2008. 

Prior to his arrest Adhikari was listed in course rosters by his full name, "Sombudha." He is now listed as "Sam Adhikari" on official course rosters at Rutgers, as well as Temple University and Montclair State University. 

Adhikari does not have an individual staff page or photo on the Rutgers website. 

The Daily Targum submitted a formal request for comment to Rutgers administrators and a University spokesperson notified the paper that the University had accounted for the new information and suspended Adhikari.

“Mr. Adhikari was immediately placed on administrative leave when issues regarding his background were brought to the chancellor’s attention,” the spokesperson said. “He will remain on administrative leave until a comprehensive review of the circumstances surrounding his background has been completed.”

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