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Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

Weird News: Shimal Fernandopulle fired from university after demanding moose meat, lobster and sex from students for better grades

A former Cape Breton University student spoke to The Chronicle Herald over a formal complaint three years ago against a professor who was fired in July for demanding moose meat, lobster and sex from a student in exchange for better grades.

“I wish I did something back then. I wish I got him fired,” Jess Hardy said. “Then this situation wouldn’t have happened.”

Shimal Fernandopulle, a Chemistry professor at CBU was let go in July, pending appeal, “for demanding sex, moose meat and lobster from a student who was struggling in his course in exchange for better grades,” according to the report at the time.

Now Hardy is coming forward, becoming the second student to detail the bizarre behavior from the disgraced educator.

“He asked me if I ever considered doing nude modelling, and I was very beautiful for it. That was a little much,” she said, recounting her time in first year chemistry.

“It was mostly just inappropriate questions, like when I lost my virginity and how many people I had slept with,” she said. “Different uncomfortable things like that.”

The number of sexual partners was a question he also asked the complainant in the harassment investigation earlier this year.

That woman, who didn’t want to be identified, told the outlet that she went to university officials Feb. 7 after the employee suggested that they could be “friends with benefits” during an extra-help session he offered to the woman and another female student.

“I had started to become very uncomfortable with some of the questions he was asking, such as how many sexual partners we had, if we had ever done drugs or did crazy partying before,” the woman said in an interview via Facebook.

She said she had brought moose meat and lobster that day for Fernandopulle after he asked her to provide it in exchange for better grades.

Fernandopulle’s profile was removed from the university’s website in July, not long after officials told the complainant her harasser was being dismissed.

The university on Thursday declined further comment.

“Cape Breton University is committed to a safe and respectful campus for all of our community members,” Parsley said. “Any and all complaints follow a formal process, as indicated in our respectful campus policy.

“We won’t be commenting further.”

Hardy said she wants to tell her story now because she regrets not filing a formal complaint three years ago.

“I’ve had a long time to think about it, and I’ve had a lot of regrets that I’ve lived with for not going ahead with it,” she said. “I don’t want him to be able to do that to anybody ever again. I’m not the same person I was then, I’m definitely stronger and I’m not afraid of him. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

She said she also wants people in similar situations to know that they should stand up when people in a position of power abuse that power.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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