Former student sues Mt. Hood Community College, professor she alleges groped her – oregonlive.com

A Mt. Hood Community College sign is seen in a file photo.Oregonian file photo
A former Mt. Hood Community College student has filed a $750,000 lawsuit in Multnomah County Circuit Court against her former photography professor, who she alleges tied her to a chair and groped her last year.
The woman, who is not named in court documents, is suing the community college and instructor Michael Henley.
The woman said in court documents that she became an intern for Henley to fulfill her final program credits after her spring 2020 term. She had taken a class with Henley before, and he became a mentor to her, she said in court filings.
Her duties were to assist with photoshoots and serve as an occasional model, according to court documents.
The woman said Henley had her review hundreds of boudoir photographs showing young women in the nude and various states of undress in preparation for an upcoming boudoir photoshoot with a different model, according to court documents.
Henley also gave the woman gifts throughout the internship and told her she had “very nice legs,” was “very beautiful” and was “sensually sexy,” the woman alleged in court documents. He also asked her to pose in lingerie for a photoshoot as part of the internship, the suit alleges.
Henley told the woman in August 2020 he needed help preparing for a photoshoot where he planned to tie models up with rope and photograph them, according to court documents.
As Henley’s assistant, the woman said she knew he had no such upcoming shoot, but she assumed his intentions remained professional, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges Henley tied her to a chair with her arms pinned behind her back and began taking pictures. She said in court filings that she felt she had lost control of the situation but feared upsetting Henley while in a vulnerable position.
Henley then blindfolded her, ball-gagged her mouth and groped her breast, court documents allege.
The woman filed a formal complaint against Henley with Mt. Hood Community College just over two months after the incident, according to court documents.
She did not file a criminal complaint for personal reasons, said Greg Kafoury, one of her lawyers. He said a criminal case would be extremely difficult to win at this point.
The woman chose to remain anonymous in the lawsuit so her name would not appear online or anywhere else in connection to the case.
“She wants to have a life which is not defined by, you know, the worst moment in her life,” Kafoury said.
The woman said in court documents that she has had anxiety, panic attacks, and extreme and disabling emotional distress since the alleged incident. She is seeking $750,000 in noneconomic damages.
Henley declined to comment when reached by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
Mt. Hood Community College officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
— Jack Forrest; [email protected]; 541-222-9808; Follow on Twitter @Jackmandu55
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