By Theodore Jones –
Moroccan court on Wednesday sentenced a university lecturer to two years in jail over accusations he traded good grades for sexual favours, local media reported.
It was the first such verdict in a “sex for good grades” scandal that has rocked the North African country since September, when Moroccan media picked up social media leaks of messages purportedly exchanged between the lecturers and students.
The defendant, an economics lecturer at Hassan I University in Settat near Casablanca, was found guilty of “indecent behaviour”, “violence” and “sexual harassment”, local media reported.
Four more lecturers will appear in court on Thursday on similar charges of “incitement to debauchery”, gender discrimination and violence against women.
A string of high-profile sexual harassment scandals have shaken Moroccan universities in recent years, but most have failed to result in trials, let alone convictions.
Rights groups say sexual violence is widespread in Morocco but that women are reluctant to report it for fear of reprisals or harm to their family reputation.
In 2018, after years of heated debate, Morocco changed its legislation so that perpetrators of “harassment, aggression, sexual exploitation or ill-treatment” could face prison terms, but some argue that the law still fails to protect women.