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Kirkwood student charged with assaulting professor after intimate relationship

Suspect also hit police officer in attempt to leave scene, reports indicate

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A 24-year-old Kirkwood Community College student was arrested Thursday morning after police said she assaulted a professor with whom she had been in an intimate relationship.

Taylor Ashton Davis, of Iowa City, faces a charge of assault on peace officers and others – a serious misdemeanor – after authorities said she also hit an officer in an attempt to release his grip. Davis was booked and released from the Johnson County Jail before noon Thursday, according to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

Iowa City police were called to the Kirkwood campus at 1816 Lower Muscatine Road in Iowa City at 9:50 a.m. Thursday about a person who was “hitting a professor,” according to a criminal complaint.

The professor, who is not named in the complaint, told responding officers that Davis hit him in the chest and threw books and other items around his classroom, according to the complaint. The dean of students reportedly came out of his office and asked to talk with Davis.

She provided officers her personal information, police reported, but then said she “just wanted to leave.” Police told Davis that she was a suspect in a crime at that point, and she couldn’t leave, according to the complaint.

“She screamed at me that he was a sexual predator and tried to get past me,” an officer reported in the complaint. “I grabbed her arm, and she hit my arm forcefully in an apparent attempt to make me release my grip.”

After Davis was arrested, the professor told officers that he and the student had been “in an intimate relationship that he tried to end about one year ago but has been somewhat ongoing,” according to the complaint.

Kristie Fisher, vice president of student services for Kirkwood, said college officials don’t comment on police matters.

“But we have policies in place to ensure we have healthy relationships at the college,” she said.

The two policies that could come into play in this instance are the “consensual relationship policy” and the “discrimination and sexual harassment policy,” Fisher said.

The consensual relationship policy states that Kirkwood employees “are not to develop relationships of a romantic or sexual nature with a student who is currently enrolled in his/her class or program, a student who is current receiving guidance/coaching from him/her, or an employee he/she is currently supervising.”

Those types of relationships create conflicts of interest and “will not be tolerated,” according to the policy. Decisions on action taken in response to such relationships will be made on a case-by-case basis, according to the policy. Appropriate measures could include termination.

Police have not said whether the student accused in Thursday’s alleged assault was being taught or supervised by the professor.

The college’s sexual harassment policy states that “unwelcome romantic or sexual attention will lead to an investigation and possible disciplinary action.”

Davis’s criminal history in Iowa is limited to minor driving offenses, according to online court records.

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