University of Guam professor found guilty of sexual conduct

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HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A University of Guam professor was convicted of one count of criminal sexual conduct after several female students said he touched them inappropriately at a beach.

Professor Michael Ehlert, 56, was also found guilty of one count of attempted criminal sexual conduct and acquitted of another count of criminal sexual conduct, the Pacific Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/2wdtwa8 ) Monday.

The professor faces one to eight years in prison for each conviction, prosecutor Matt Heibel said.

The three female University of Guam students who accused Ehlert said they attended a party in 2014 at his house.

The partygoers later went swimming at a nearby beach, according to witnesses. The students claimed Ehlert reached into their bikinis and touched them inappropriately.

The students reported the professor to university officials in 2014, prompting an investigation.

Ehlert pleaded not guilty to the third-degree charges and denies any sexual touching occurred.

His lawyer, Joaquin Arriola, has previously said that any type of touching that may have occurred during the party may have been accidental.

The university has updated its sexual misconduct policy in response to the case to say that any form of sexual misconduct will not be tolerated.

It also urges students, employees and community members to report, intervene and advocate on behalf of those who have experienced sexual misconduct.

As of Monday, Ehlert was on administrative leave and employed by the university as a faculty member, according to the newspaper.

Ehlert is under house arrest until his sentencing on Oct. 4.

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