ECC professor suspended, charged with assaulting student

  • Robert L. Harmon

    Robert L. Harmon

 
Updated 12/2/2009 4:52 PM

Elgin Community College has suspended a history professor charged with assaulting a student in his office, officials said Wednesday.

Robert L. Harmon, 57, of the 1600 block of South 61st Avenue, Cicero, is charged with misdemeanor aggravated assault in the Nov. 16 incident, according to court records.

 

The Kane County state's attorney's office said Harmon shouted at a female student in a threatening manner while the two were in his office. The charge does not allege physical contact.

Harmon's attorney, Michael Solock, said his client intends to plead not guilty. But Solock said he could not elaborate because he had not seen the criminal complaint.

"I don't really know any of the details of it," he said. "I don't think he (Harmon) committed any criminal acts."

Harmon is a "longtime" college professor, his attorney said. He is listed as a professor of history and political science on ECC's Web site.

ECC Spokeswoman Felicia Griffin did not identify Harmon by name, but said the college put a professor on paid administrative leave after a student filed a formal complaint related to a "threat" on Nov. 16.

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"We take swift action whenever any incidents brought to our attention present a real or perceived threat of harm to any persons or property on the campus," Griffin said in a statement. "The academic enrollment status of the student is not affected."

Court records show Harmon was sentenced to 12 months of court supervision and 18 months of conditional discharge for a pair of driving under the influence of alcohol charges in Kane County in 2004 and 2008.

Harmon could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and $2,500 in fines if convicted of the new charge. He is scheduled to appear Friday in Elgin Branch Court.

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