A former University of California, Santa Cruz student got a $1.15 million settlement after claiming to be raped by a professor.
The former student, Luz Portillo, 24, claims that assistant Latin American studies professor Hector Perla got her drunk and raped her in 2015. In response, the university agreed to a $1.15 million in settlement before civil or criminal charges were filed.
According to Portillo, Perla took herself and another female student to a wine-tasting at Loma Prieta Winery on June 15, 2015, according to an article from the Daily Mail. The activity was supposedly to celebrate the students’ graduation. After leaving the winery, the group supposedly left to the other student’s home, where Portillo claims she was given wine until she was not fully conscious. While in this state, she says she engaged in non-consensual sexual acts.
Portillo said that her university minimized what happened and didn’t inform other students.
“I had to become my biggest advocate. I didn’t want to go unnoticed,” Portillo told BuzzFeed News. “I received very little help from my university, but I drew strength from other women at other schools who went public with their sexual assault.”
Before Perla was asked to resign from his position, he was placed on leave by the university and was forced to stop all communication with students.
“The allegations were investigated in confidence, because our campus process respects the rights and privacy of all parties, but we investigated the victim’s claims as soon as she came forward,” said Chancellor George Blumenthal and Interim Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Herbert Lee in a statement from the school.