Pianist-lecturer loses ties to CMU

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A prominent pianist who served as an artist lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University is no longer affiliated with the school, although that may be unrelated to reports from Charleston, S.C., that he was being investigated by the College of Charleston for alleged sexual misconduct with a student.

Enrique Graf, 60, was notified in March that he was being dismissed from the faculty at the College of Charleston, where he was a tenured faculty member who ran the Arts Certificate program. That action came after an investigation into allegations made in January by a student that Mr. Graf sexually harassed him, made unwelcome sexual advances and requested sexual favors during his undergraduate years from 2008-12.

University officials found the student to be credible in his claims of sexual harassment, even though Mr. Graf vehemently denied them. Mr. Graf initially appealed his dismissal and requested a hearing before a college committee. But in June, he dropped his appeal, resigned from the faculty and applied for his pension.

Both Mr. Graf and his attorney, Cheryl Ledbetter, said he dropped the appeal because they did not believe he was going to get a fair hearing from the college and it was in his best interest to retire after 24 years with the college.

"The allegations have been awful, when there's no proof whatsoever. It's all baseless. There's nothing really, no proof whatsoever that I've done anything wrong," Mr. Graf told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Monday.

CMU spokesman Ken Walters declined to release any details about why Mr. Graf was no longer associated with CMU, where he joined the faculty as an artist in residence and lecturer in 1997. Mr. Graf also was a frequent featured performer at Pittsburgh recitals and concerts, performing with the Butler Symphony Orchestra in April.

Mr. Graf said he left CMU in December, a decision that was unrelated to the accusations made in Charleston. He said traveling back and forth from South Carolina to Pittsburgh was beginning to wear on him and he wanted to concentrate on playing and recording his own music.

According to an investigative report released by the College of Charleston, the student said the abuse started shortly after he began his freshman year at the college. The report said the student then traveled with Mr. Graf to Paris, where Mr. Graf reserved only one room with one bed then played pornographic movies and touched him inappropriately. The student also reported a similar scenario in a March 2012 visit to CMU.

The College of Charleston notified CMU's general counsel of its investigation in January, and the college's public safety department contacted Pittsburgh police on June 20 to advise it was investigating allegations of sexual misconduct by Mr. Graf and that one of the incidents allegedly took place at Mr. Graf's East Liberty home.

The individual victim in the case is listed as a 22-year-old man from Honolulu.

He provided a four-page account of events he said happened between March 10 and March 15, 2012. The man said that Mr. Graf invited him to Pittsburgh, where the two smoked marijuana and Mr. Graf made sexual advances.

A sex assault detective assigned to review the case labeled the report "unfounded" because police did not see any evidence that a sex assault, indecent assault or similar crimes had been committed, said Major Crimes Lt. Daniel Herrmann.

Despite the accusations, Walter Morales, music director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, said he supports Mr. Graf, whom he has known since 1990. "I don't believe any of it, and actually I don't know what to think of the allegations," Mr. Morales said. "He has the highest standards as a musician and a person."

Mr. Graf's resignation prompted College of Charleston's president George Benson to write a letter to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson for guidance on how, without legal repercussions, to alert others about its investigation into Mr. Graf since he ended the process with his retirement.

"We believe that public disclosure of the name of a faculty member who resigned in the face of termination proceedings for cases involving sexual misconduct would serve a significant public purpose," he wrote.

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Mary Niederberger: mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1590. Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1438. Elizabeth Bloom contributed.


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