Katy Benoit Feared For Her Safety And Safety Of Other Students - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Katy Benoit Feared For Her Safety And Safety Of Other Students

KHQ.COM - KHQ has obtained the sexual harassment and threats of violence complaint filed by Katy Benoit with the University of Idaho against her former professor and lover Ernesto Bustamante.

The email was sent to Carmen Suarez with the University's Office of Human Rights, Access and Inclusion, two months before Bustamante shot and killed Benoit then himself.

In the email Benoit wrote that she was frightened for her safety and the safety of other students, and explained that fear is the reason it took her a month to come forward: "I wanted to come forward but I was scared for my personal safety and my academic career," Benoit wrote. "Further, he was extremely persuasive regarding our future, my academic future, and my safety."

Benoit detailed the relationship between her and Bustamante, which began after he became her peer advisor during Fall semester of 2010. He began flirting right away, and pursued an intimate relationship," wrote Benoit. "By the end of that semester, he and I were in a sexually active relationship."

Benoit described Bustamante's behavior in class as "inappropriate and unpredictable," saying "If students wanted to question him, or defy him in any way, he would always premise his response with 'it's never a good idea to piss me off.'"

The email alleged that Bustamante threatened Benoit on three separate occasions by holding a "fully loaded gun" to her head, and detailing the manner in which he would use it. She told the University the Bustamante had 5 different personalities, and owned least 5 handguns which he carried "everywhere, including to campus (on every occasion).  He answers his door with them, travels with them, sleeps near them, EVERYWHERE."

In the complaint, Benoit asked the University for help from Bustamante's "twisted behavior," saying she needed assistance to guarantee her safety, and the safety of other students. "Most of my activities at this University are somehow related to him and I don't want to ruin my academic career," Benoit wrote. "

But I can't take classes of his any longer nor can I permit this twisted behavior to continue for the sake of myself and other women who will come after me."

Benoit also named one other student that was sexually involved with Bustamante,and 19 students as likely witnesses of inappropriate behavior by Bustamante.

This story was filed by KHQ Local News Reporter Gaby Fleischman

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