Kurin v. Balter: The anatomy of a bogus defamation suit against a #MeToo reporter, in which the reporter writes his draft Answer to the Complaint. [Updated August 10]

Charles L. Brieant Federal Building, home of the Southern District of NY White Plains branch

As readers of this blog know all too well by now, I have been sued for $10 million in defamation damages by University of California, Santa Barbara archaeologist Danielle Kurin for reporting on her repeated misconduct, including failing to protect students from her abusive ex-husband, retaliating against students who reported sexual abuse, and a general history of bullying students and colleagues alike. The most recent installment in this saga can be found here, with backlinks to earlier stories.

The lawsuit is filed in the White Plains branch of the Southern District of New York, which is much in the news these days in connection with various Trumpian scandals.

Although I am currently representing myself in the lawsuit, I may well have professional representation soon. Nevertheless, I am taking major responsibility for marshaling the facts in the case, and thus I have begun work on my Answer to the latest Amended Complaint. That Answer is now due on August 18 I can say that it is a lot of work, and yet bears the satisfaction of telling the truth.

I am reproducing the first part of my efforts at a draft below, although this may get edited for length and inclusion of legal arguments as we go along. Nevertheless, I thought readers might find it of interest, as a demonstration of the falsity of Kurin's claims and the essence of my responses to them. I will post further installments as they are written, in the interests of the full transparency which Kurin and her institution, UCSB, have fought hard to avoid. The numbers refer to statements in the original Complaint. Obviously this is a rough draft so please excuse the typos and formatting issues. If anyone has comments or suggestions, please feel free to add in the comments section below.

First Amended Complaint in Kurin v. Balter



1.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Defendant Balter owns and operates a blog and she provides the URL for it. This statement is true. Defendant Balter, a reporter with 42 years of experience working for major publications, often uses his blog to write about topics that interest him, as is typical of most bloggers, including journalists who also blog on the side. However, over the past few years, Balter has used his blog to publish his reporting about misconduct in academia, because he finds that this publishing format is more suitable to doing what is often called “#MeToo journalism.” Last year, Balter published an article in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR), the number one journalism magazine in the United States (published by Columbia University) in which he explained at length why he had made the choice to publish his #MeToo journalism on his blog, after a couple of years of doing it for major publications like Science, The Verge (Vox media), and Scientific American. That article can be found at https://www.cjr.org/opinion/metoo-academia-sexual-assault-harassment.php. The editors of were very intrigued by this somewhat unusual approach to doing serious journalism and published the article because they thought it would be of interest to CJR’s very broad readership. Kurin also states that Balter has “myriad social media presences.” This statement is inaccurate and very misleading, because the word “myriad” is usually defined as meaning a very large number. In reality, Balter posts on his blog, Twitter, and Facebook. He does not use any other social media platforms except in very rare instances. In making this misleading statement, it appears that Kurin wishes to prejudice the court into accepting the statements she makes in the next section, in which she begins to attempt to portray Balter as something other than a real and serious journalist.
2.     Plaintiff Kurin says that Defendant Balter “proclaims” to be a #MeToo reporter. This statement is false, misleading, and again represents an attempt to prejudice the court against an established and reputable journalist. Balter’s status as a #MeToo reporter is based on his actual history and practice as a reporter, not on proclamations. During the past five years, Balter has investigated dozens of cases of misconduct and wrongdoing, using the standard techniques of journalism which require corroboration for all statements made except where they are clearly opinion (which is allowed in modern journalism.) In nearly all of these cases, the allegations have not only turned out to be correct, but have led to termination or forced resignation in many cases. As Kurin points out elsewhere in her Complaint, Balter maintains a roster of his investigations on the home page of his blog, which can be found at http://michael-balter.blogspot.com/2018/12/sexual-abusers-i-have-known.html. Kurin further states that Balter is an “internet vigilante” who exploits victims of sexual abuse to enhance his own reputation. These states are false and defamatory, and Kurin provides absolutely no evidence whatsoever, here or anywhere else in her Complaint, for this highly prejudicial interpretation of Balter’s motives. In a recent interview with an organization devoted to protecting students and other researchers engaged in field work, Balter discussed his motivations and the history of his involvement in #MeToo reporting at length. This is the best and only source of accurate information about his motivations:  http://michael-balter.blogspot.com/2020/06/the-confessions-of-metoo-reporter.html
3.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Balter uses his blog as a “bully pulpit” to negligently, maliciously, and recklessly” publish stories that are often false and that his motives for doing so are personal fame and aggrandizement. Again, these statements are totally false and designed to prejudice the Court against Balter’s dedicated work as a journalist trying to help victims of abuse find ways to tell their stories. Kurin is clearly hoping that by painting such a false and injurious portrait of Balter and his motives, the Court will become convinced that these alleged motivations apply to his reporting about Kurin’s misconduct as well. This dishonest attempt to deflect from the actual facts must fail.
4.     Plaintiff Kurin alleges that Balter “doxes” individuals that he is investigating and has published their home addresses and bank records. In only one case has Balter published such information about a subject of his reporting, under circumstances that were journalistically justified. The information published did not relate to a sexual misconduct investigation but to entire different matters. Again, Kurin seeks to mislead the Court about Balter’s character and falsely make him out to be an unethical journalist.
5.     Plaintiff Kurin says that Defendant Balter portrays himself as a “journalist and journalism professor,” putting those terms in quotes as if there is some question whether they are accurate. In fact, Balter is a journalist and a journalism professor, full stop. He began his journalism career in Los Angeles in 1978, as a reporter at KPFK radio, and later began work as a freelance writer for the L.A. Weekly, the L.A. Reader, the Los Angeles Times, and Los Angeles Magazine. In 1988 Balter moved to Paris, where he engaged in food, travel, and political writing for the International Herald Tribune, Travel and Leisure, Islands magazine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and other publications. In 1991 he became the Paris correspondent for Science, a position he held for 25 years. More recently Balter has written for National Geographic, Smithsonian, Discover, Scientific American, The Verge, the Columbia Journalism Review, SAPIENS, Audubon, and other publications. Likewise, Balter has taught journalism at Boston University, New York University, and the City College of New York. Kurin also states that Balter publishes embellished and false stories. This is false. Throughout his career, Balter has followed the highest standards of journalism and journalistic ethics, and has continued to use those standards in his #MeToo reporting. For example, during the 25 years that Balter worked for Science, the journal was obliged to publish no more than a half dozen very minor corrections to his reporting, way below the average for that and most other publications. Finally, Kurin’s statement that academia and science have rejected Balter are blatantly false, and Kurin provides no evidence for her false statement.
6.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Defendant Balter admits to playing “fast and loose” with his reporting, citing the Columbia Journalism Review article referred to above. Balter admits to no such thing, and Kurin is clearly hoping that the Court might not read every reference in her Complaint and thus not recognize the blatant falsehoods represented by this statement and so many others in her Complaint. Nowhere in that article does Balter say that he does not accept the high journalistic standards of mainstream publications; moreover, Balter’s reference to possible legal liability refers not to any faults with his reporting, but to the fact that writing about controversial subjects such as #MeToo cases is risky, and that accused individuals sometimes bring lawsuits against journalists who are simply doing their jobs and reporting the truth. The current litigation brought by Kurin is an excellent example of this.
7.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Defendant Balter acts as “judge and jury” in his reporting and implies that he simply proclaims accused individuals “guilty” based on his own whims and prejudices. Kurin also says that Balter concludes that some accused abusers are culpable “in the face of contrary findings by official bodies.” These statements are false. As stated above, Balter follows the same journalistic methods, in which he has 42 years of experience, used by mainstream publications including the New York Times and his former employer Science. What rankles Kurin is that Balter often draws conclusions about the behavior of his reporting subjects and advocates certain measures be taken (such as, in her case, the denial of tenure at her institution, the University of California, Santa Barbara.) But Balter’s work is in the fine and proud tradition of “advocacy journalism,” long an important part of American journalism, in which the reporter is allowed to express their opinion about what measures should be taken as long as the reporting is sound, accurate, corroborated, and fair. For example, Balter repeatedly asked Kurin, in a series of emails, to comment on his findings and provide input into his reporting, including offering alternative interpretations to his own. Balter even offered to add in her comments after publication of his reports, to no avail. Kurin’s attorney is on the record as stating that she received these requests, but she did not respond to them.
8.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Balter has commented on Twitter (and elsewhere) that he has been unable to obtain libel insurance for his reporting. This is true. Kurin further states that the reason is the “content” of his reporting. In this statement, Kurin is attempting to mislead the Court into thinking that Balter’s difficulties getting liable insurance are due to falsehoods in his reporting. This is untrue. Balter has made it clear that insurance underwriters often do not want to cover content that is risky and controversial, regardless of its veracity. This is an ongoing problem in journalism today, and most journalists agree that the failure of insurance companies to spread the risk appropriately has a chilling effect on reporting on controversial subjects.
9.     Defendant Balter denies that he has ever published any libelous statements about Plaintiff Kurin on his blog or anywhere else. Balter stands by the accuracy of his reporting in all instances. Balter agrees that Kurin is an assistant professor at UCSB and directs the bioarchaeology lab there.
10.  Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “Balter’s false and defamatory statements include alleging that Kurin was accused of sexual misconduct, that Kurin covered-up sexual misconduct, and that she was found ‘guilty’ of the same by her employer, UCSB.” Balter denies that he has made any false and defamatory statements about Kurin. But this statement, along with the following one (No. 11) gets to the heart of the issues in this litigation. Firstly, Balter has never stated that Kurin herself was accused of sexual misconduct, although Kurin apparently interprets the title of one of his blog posts of implying this (see below.) Balter has never said that Kurin herself sexually abused students. Rather, Balter has reported that Kurin was fully aware of such conduct by Diogenes Enmanuel Gomez Choque, with whom she has had a long relationship starting before she was married to him, and which, according to Balter’s reporting, has continued after the couple were supposedly separated. This reporting is based on multiple witnesses and sources and represents Balter’s honest conclusions based on that reporting. Balter does believe, based on his reporting, that Kurin did attempt to cover up Gomez’s abuses, including those that took place during a field school that Kurin directed in Peru in 2015 and another field school she directed in Peru in 2018 (see below for more details.) Indeed, Kurin’s employer, UCSB, came to a very similar conclusion in June 2016, when it concluded a Title IX investigation by finding that Kurin had retaliated against students who had reported sexual harassment by Gomez. Kurin attempts to deflect attention from this documented finding [Exh X] by failing to tell the Court anywhere in her complaint about this Title IX proceeding. Instead, she has attempts to mask the truth of the matter by inflating Balter’s use of the term “guilty” in this regard, insisting that she was never found “guilty” in any civil or criminal proceeding. Balter has no knowledge to the contrary; but his use of the word “guilty” was clearly in the colloquial rather than strictly legal sense. In fact, this is particularly obvious, because Balter described precisely the circumstance under which Kurin had been found to have committed misconduct, thus leaving no ambiguity in the minds of readers. The fact that Kurin and Balter disagree about the use of a particular word to describe misconduct which she has attempted to hide not only from her colleagues at UCSB and the archaeology community, but also from this Court, does not rise to defamation and cannot be considered evidence of such.
11.  Plaintiff Kurin states: “Balter has also published false statements that Kurin was married to an individual
convicted of raping college students, and that she repeatedly enabled her ex-husband to sexually abuse students.”            Defendant Balter has reported that while Kurin was married to Gomez, during her 2018 field school, Gomez sexually assaulted two female students, one so seriously that she is still traumatized to this day. This student, whom Balter has referred to as Student No. 3 to protect her identity, is still traumatized today and still seeking justice for what happened to her. At the time of the assault, Kurin tried to blame Student No. 3 for what happened, which adds to the evidence referred to above that Kurin attempted to cover up for Gomez. As for the raping of college students: Balter is currently researching serious allegations in Peru that Gomez, before he knew Kurin, was indeed convicted of rape. Gomez, of course, is not a party to this litigation, and Kurin cannot be held responsible for Gomez’s actions before she knew him. Any implication that Balter holds her responsible is incorrect, although Balter does maintain, through his detailed reporting, that Kurin became aware at some point early in their relationship of Gomez’s sexist and exploitative attitudes towards women and nevertheless not only maintained a relationship with him but actually married him. Finally, Kurin mentions another key issue in this litigation: Did she enable Gomez’s abuses? Balter’s reporting indicates that Gomez harassed or assaulted female students at nearly every field school Kurin has directed or codirected for nearly a decade, and that in many cases Kurin had knowledge of this behavior. In this sense, Balter stands by the use of the word “enabled,” because Kurin failed in her responsibilities to exercise due care of vulnerable students in her charge. Even if Kurin disagrees with Balter’s use of the word “enabled,” Balter’s use of it is a matter of his protected opinion and does not rise to the level of defamation.
12.  Defendant Balter maintains that all of his statements about Kurin are true to the best of his knowledge and belief, based on detailed reporting using documents and dozens of witness interviews.
13.  Plaintiff Kurin states that Defendant Balter wishes to make Kurin “another victim of cancel culture” by preventing her from obtaining tenure at UCSB and that he is doing this to enhance his own image. Although the term “cancel culture” is much in use at the moment, it is not relevant to this litigation, even if it suits Kurin’s purpose of attempting to portray herself as a victim of vicious and unscrupulous forces. As stated above, Defendant Balter has made it clear that he believes Kurin’s misconduct is so egregious, and that she is such a danger to students because of her refusal to protect them from a known sexual predator (Gomez), that she does not deserve tenure. This is Balter’s protected opinion, which cannot be used as evidence of defamation. Moreover, it is the opinion of many colleagues who have known Kurin over the years, and of most of the harassment and assault victims whom Balter has come to know through his reporting.


14.     Defendant Balter agrees that Plaintiff Kurin lives in Santa Barbara and Falls Church, VA, which is the home of her parents. Kurin’s father, Richard Kurin, an official of the Smithsonian Institution, is a potential witness in this litigation.
15.     Defendant Balter agrees that he is a resident of Westchester County and Croton-on-Hudson, NY.
16.     Balter agrees that he and Kurin are residents of different states, but denies that he is responsible for any damages Kurin has suffered as a result of her persistent misconduct.
17.     Any damages Kurin has suffered in this matter are entirely due to her own conduct and thus amount to zero dollars. Defendant Balter, with all due respect to the Court, reserves his right to challenge whether the Court has jurisdiction in this matter.
18.     Plaintiff Balter reserves his right to argue that the Court does not have jurisdiction in this matter, with all due respect to the Court.
19.     While Plaintiff Kurin has indeed suffered grievous injuries to her reputation, they are not the fault of Defendant Balter, but of her own making. Indeed, Defendant Balter will present evidence at trial, based on his own investigations and on legal discovery, that Kurin’s reputation had been badly damaged over a number of years before Balter had ever heard of her. This damage to her reputation occurred because of her negligence of students at her field schools, as described above and below; her abuse of students and even other faculty in the anthropology department at UC Santa Barbara, where she is employed; and even during her time as a graduate student at Vanderbilt University.
20.     Defendant Balter denies that any of his statements about Kurin were false or defamatory. Balter stands by his reporting. Balter agrees that he tried, and succeeded, to get the widest possible attention and media coverage of his reporting, as is the desire of all journalists working on cases of misconduct. This is to ensure that the reporting makes a real difference in the world and that abuses and injustices are corrected by those with the power to do so.
21.     Defendant Balter does not argue that this Court has jurisdiction over him as a person, although he reserves his right to challenge the Court’s jurisdiction in this particular matter for the reasons stated above.
22.     Please see No. 21.
23.  Defendant Balter agrees with Kurin’s descriptions of her professional titles.
24.  Defendant Balter has no direct knowledge of Kurin’s educational history, but sees no reason to disagree with her description of it.
25.  Defendant Balter agrees that Kurin has led field schools in Peru, but has no direct knowledge of her relationship with the agencies she mentions.
26.  Defendant Balter has no real argument with Kurin’s description of her professional accomplishments, although he is aware of a critical review of the book she mentions and, based on his conversations with other experts in her field, believes that she is not as highly regarded in her field as she seems to believe. Balter has had conversations with many faculty and students about Kurin, and he has concluded that her situation is really a tragedy. Kurin clearly does have substantial skills as a teacher and mentor, when she wants to, and exudes a certain charisma and charm. Those qualities have made the disappointment to many of her colleagues all the more painful when they have discovered the many cases in which she has committed misconduct and has blatantly lied about that misconduct, including lying to colleagues about the findings in the Title IX proceedings of 2016 (she told many that she had been “exonerated” by the process, which was flatly untrue.)
27.  On information and belief, Defendant Balter agrees with Kurin’s statements in this section.
28.  On information and belief, Defendant Balter agrees that Kurin is scheduled to begin her tenure process in September 2020.


29.     While Defendant Balter is currently a resident of Croton-on-Hudson, NY, some of the reporting for his posts on Kurin took place while he was a resident of Tarrytown, NY.
30.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Balter is a “self-described archaeology buff.” This is an inaccurate and misleading statement, designed to portray Balter to the Court as some sort of amateur. Balter began writing about archaeology for Science in the mid 1990s, around the time that Kurin would have been a young teenager. The first archaeology story he can recall writing was in 1996, and concerned a structure built by Neanderthals in a cave in France (see https://science.sciencemag.org/content/271/5248/449.1) Since then Balter has reported and written hundreds of archaeology stories for Science, Discover, Smithsonian, and other publications. Balter agrees in part that he is a “former” adjunct instructor of journalism, although he does not agree with Kurin’s implication that his career as a journalism teacher is somehow over.
31.     Balter agrees that he publishes a blog entitled “Balter’s Blog,” which began in 2008 as a venue for commenting on the election that gave us President Barack Obama.
32.     Plaintiff Kurin vastly understates the body of work Balter has produced over 42 years as a journalist, as noted above.
33.     Balter did not publish a “purported archaeology book” in 2005. Balter published a real archaeology book, entitled “The Goddess and the Bull.” The publisher was the Free Press, an imprint of the book publishing giant Simon and Schuster, and he received a $100,000 advance for it. The book was about the 9500 year old Neolithic village of Catalhoyuk in Turkey, which is not considered a city since urban conglomerations did not appear until at least 5000 years later.
34.      Beginning in this section, Plaintiff Kurin engages in a frankly silly, but blatantly false, attempt to discredit Balter as a serious archaeology writer by cherry-picking a few negative reviews on Amazon. If Kurin sought professional rather than amateur evaluations of the book, she only had to look at the back jacket cover for testimonials from some of the leading archaeologists and anthropologists in the world, including well known archaeologist and archaeology writer Brian Fagan, an emeritus professor from her own anthropology department at UCSB.

Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Michael Balter takes us on a fascinating journey through the excavations at one of the world's great archaeological sites. He provides an engrossing chronicle of one of the world's earliest farming villages and of the personalities and thoughts of the archaeologists engaged in the research -- the human side of archaeology.
[Brian Fagan, from Kurin's own institution, is one of the most pre-eminent archaeology writers in the US. Full disclosure, I once profiled him for Science.]

Bruce Trigger, James McGill Professor, Department of Anthropology, McGill University, Montreal
A superb biography of a super archaeological site! Balter also demonstrates how this work is radically transforming what all archaeologists think and do. His carefully researched and compellingly written narrative, which makes readers feel as if they are there, will be read with pleasure and interest by professional archaeologists and all who are interested in archaeology. Balter's skillful weaving together of archaeological findings, the personalities and ambitions of a broad cast of archaeologists, and the evolution of archaeological thought makes this book a classic.
[The late Bruce Trigger was one of the most important historians and philosophers of archaeology.]

Ian Tattersall, Curator, Division of Anthropology, American Museum of Natural History
Çatalhöyük is not only an archaeological site of tremendous importance, it is one with a dramatic history -- both ancient and modern -- that Balter tells with verve and an abundance of personal detail. His book is foremost about a site that offers unique insights into the origins of our own civilization; but at the same time it is an evocative portrayal of the process of archaeology itself.
[Ian Tattersall, one of the most foremost paleoanthropologists in the US, is now retired from the AMNH. Unfortunately, his replacement, Brian Richmond, turned out to be a sexual predator, the first one I reported on. He was later forced to resign from the museum.]

Colin Renfrew, Professor Emeritus, University of Cambridge
An engagingly personal account of one of the most ambitious excavation projects currently in progress, undertaken at one of the world's great archaeological sites; a revealing narrative of people and ideas at the working face of archaeology.
[Colin Renfrew is the most famous archaeologist in the United Kingdom, and known throughout the world for his studies of civilization and language]

Heather Pringle, author of The Mummy Congress
Erudite and meticulously researched, The Goddess and the Bull takes us behind the scenes of archaeology on the world stage, revealing the pitched political battles, the sometimes battered egos, and the stubborn quest for knowledge at one of the world's most important archaeological sites, Çatalhöyük.
[Heather Pringle is one of the US's most prolific archaeology writers, author of many books on the subject. Full disclosure, she is also a good friend of mine]

Last but not least, I believe that The Goddess and the Bull is the only archaeology book endorsed by a rock star. Here, from the back cover of the paperback edition:

David Bowie, Rock Musician
“I liked it very much. A little heavy on theory for my taste but exciting to read of what could have been the first town. I also approve of burying the dead under the floor. At least you'll remember where you put them.”

I tell the story of how Bowie came to read and comment on the book in this piece published after he died. The publisher of the paperback edition of the book, Mitch Allen of Left Coast Press (since purchased by Routledge) was not only highly amused but very pleased to read these comments by Bowie, because the fact that it was heavy on theory made it ideal for his marketing plan to sell it as an academic book to be used in university classes.)

Defendant Balter includes these comments from experts much more senior than Kurin not to try to convince the Court to buy his book, but to illustrate the bogus and easily disproved nature of her attempts to discredit an experienced archaeology writer and deflect attention from her own misdeeds, which have greatly harmed a significant number of students and endangered her tenure efforts at UCSB.

As for the specific point she tries to make in this section, it is false that in this book Balter focused on who the archaeologists “hooked up” with. The book was advertised as a “biography” of an archaeological site and thus the lives of the archaeologists themselves were a major part of the narrative. In telling their stories, it was natural to write about their important relationships which were often with other archaeologists. Kurin’s purpose here, to portray Balter as somehow unnaturally interested in the sex lives of others and thus motivated to make false statements about the subjects of his reporting, including Kurin, are totally false.
 35.     Plaintiff Kurin quotes an Amazon reviewer who criticizes Balter’s discussion, in his book, of the interpretation of an arrowhead which the late archaeologist Marija Gimbutas thougth represented a human pubis. Balter assumes that Kurin has enough archaeological training to know that Gimbutas’ contention that a Mother Goddess was worshipped at Catalhoyuk is controversial and was questioned by the last team that worked there, which is the subject of Balter’s book. Again, Kurin is attempting to mislead the Court into drawing certain conclusions about Balter’s focuses in his journalism that are completely untrue.
36.     Balter defers here to the remarks made in the previous section about his book, so as not to waste the Court’s time any further with Kurin’s frivolous attempts to mischaracterize the Defendant and his motivations.
37.     This section about Balter’s book demonstrates the dishonesty with which Plaintiff Kurin has described his motivations and attitudes. The passage she quotes clearly states that the “voyeuristic” tendencies referred to, somewhat jokingly, were those of the archaeologists reading each others’ diaries and not those of Balter himself. Kurin’s attempts to use a highly rated archaeology book, still in print after 15 years, which has been widely used in archaeology classes (including in Turkey, where it is also used in archaeology classes to this day and sold in bookstores in Istanbul), against the Defendant are illustrative of the fully dishonest case she attempts to put before this Court.
38.  Kurin makes the following statement:  In 2016, Science Magazine terminated Balter’s 25-year career with the
publication for misconduct and a “breakdown of trust” after he accused a professor of exaggerated charges of sexual harassment and hounded the accused, his friends, family, and colleagues.” In this and following sections of the Complaint, Plaintiff Kurin makes a startling series of admissions of her total bias towards and sympathy with abusers who have been found “guilty” of misconduct by their own institutions and subjected to severe discipline. To deal first with Balter’s relationship with Science: It is true that in 2016 Science terminated Balter’s contract after 25 years during which he produced nearly 900 articles on a wide variety of subjects, all of which are still on the journal’s Web site. However, Kurin defames Balter, and is flatly wrong, when she says it was for misconduct. Not only is that not true but Kurin provides no evidence for it, because there is none. Kurin also dishonestly quotes the phrase “breakdown of trust” when those words, offered as a commentary to a publication covering the termination by Science’s news editor Tim Appenzeller, are an incomplete quote. The actual quote from Appenzeller, who otherwise made little comment on the dispute, can be found in this article in the science publication Undark: https://undark.org/2016/03/17/writers-editors-science-popular-science/.

The full passage that Kurin selectively and dishonestly quotes from is as follows:

“Appenzeller told me in an email on March 14th that “Michael’s termination says nothing about Science’s commitment to covering sexual harassment,” and “his parting with Science has nothing to do with the published story.” The preparation of the story “brought to a head a long-standing, mutual loss of trust,” Appenzeller wrote.
Balter has a history of public disagreements with Science. In 2014, he protested the firing of four female colleagues by taking a three-month leave of absence. And in mid-January, he wrote a series of tweets critical of the handling of the Richmond story…”
Defendant Balter notes that there was no mention of “misconduct,” an allegation that Kurin has made up out of whole cloth. Rather, there was a mutual loss of trust, and this brief description of the reasons for it is sufficient to contradict Kurin’s false implications. It also provides background for Kurin’s craven identification with sexual abusers. The story referred to is that of Brian Richmond, former curator of human origins at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Science assigned Balter, who was teaching at NYU at the time, to investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Richmond. Balter’s reporting, even before it was published, induced the museum to begin its own investigation, which ultimately led to Richmond’s resignation in December of 2016. The charges were not “exaggerated,” as Kurin states, and Balter did not “hound” Richmond, nor his family and colleagues. In fact, Richmond was quoted in multiple places, and at length, in the article in an attempt to defend himself and in Balter’s and Science’s attempts to be fair to him. As for his colleagues, the anthropology community rallied around the attempts to get at the truth of Richmond’s misconduct, as described in the Science article that Balter wrote and reported and whose integrity editor Appenzeller defends above: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/sexual-misconduct-case-has-rocked-anthropology. (Balter consulted with more than 60 sources in the anthropology community for this article, all of whom willingly provided input and details for the story.) Balter feels compelled to ask the Court to indulge all of the details above because they provide a very clear example of the way Kurin has completely stretched the truth into an unrecognizable shape to fulfill her goal of scapegoating the reporter who has exposed her misconduct.
39.  Please see the response to No. 38 above which covers the bogus claims Kurin makes in this section.
40.  Balter denies that he is motivated by voyeurism. It is true that Balter has investigated dozens of cases of actual misconduct in academia, including sexual harassment, bullying, and retaliation, using the journalistic techniques described above. As also stated above, these fact-based investigations have often led to the termination or resignation of the abusers. While Kurin should know, based on the publications of scholars in her own field and that of anthropology, that sexual misconduct is a very serious problem, especially at field schools like the ones she has run in Peru, Kurin tries to pretend that these are all fantasies of Balter’s fevered imagination. The facts show otherwise.
41.  Balter agrees that he maintains, on his blog, a “Rogue’s Gallery” of abusers. These are limited to the cases that he has actually worked on, and Balter stands by the reporting in each and every case, including Kurin’s. A look at the links provided in the individual stories shows the long and serious research they represent.

42.     Kurin makes the following statement:  “In April of 2019, Balter was forcibly detained by security and then ejected from a Society for American Archeology annual conference after he tried to physically assault an
alleged sexual harasser at a conference – and refused to calm down or                disengage and behave himself in a civil manner.Everything in this statement is false, and if Kurin had simply read the article in The Scientist she links to she would know that—making her statement recklessly false. First, let’s identify the “alleged sexual harasser.” He is David Yesner, a former archaeologist at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, who was found in a Title IX proceeding to have sexually assaulted and harassed numerous students over a period of decades (see https://www.ktva.com/story/40180592/title-ix-investigation-reveals-decades-of-sexual-misconduct-by-former-uaa-professor.) As a result of these findings, Yesner was denied emeritus status at the university when he retired; Yesner was banned from stepping foot on any University of Alaska campus; and Yesner was banned from participating in any activity anywhere in the world where University of Alaska students were participating (see https://www.ktva.com/story/40272991/uaa-police-former-professor-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-banned-from-university-property-events.) In citing this case, Kurin continues to demonstrate her apparent sympathy for sexual predators, who side she takes in multiple instances in signing her name to this Complaint. Next, let’s address the falsehoods concerning  Defendant Balter. In fact, Balter was not detained by security (no security personnel were involved in this episode at any time;) Balter did not try to physically assault Yesner but rather escorted him out of the meeting using the power of embarrassment (Yesner agreed to leave, although he came back later.) The reason Balter did this is that some of his victims were in attendance at the meeting, and they asked Balter for helping in dealing with the situation because he was attending sessions of the meeting they wished to attend and they were afraid to be near him. When officials of the Society for American Archaeology were notified of the situation, they allowed Yesner back into the meeting and banned Balter from the meeting (this was the following day.) The mishandling of this situation by SAA led to an uproar among archaeologists, who condemned the failure of SAA officials to protect Yesner’s victims and for banning Balter from the meeting. The whole episode led to months of campaigning by archaeologists to get the SAA to improve its policies, and also led many SAA members to resign their memberships. A good summary of events can be found in this article by Lizzie Wade, a correspondent for Science who took over much of Balter’s archaeology coverage when his contract at the journal was terminated: https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/metoo-controversy-erupts-archaeology-meeting
The use (or rather misuse) of this episode by Kurin reflects not only her disdain for the victims of sexual misconduct, which we have seen in her own personal conduct regarding the misdeeds of her former husband Gomez, but also her disdain for basic facts demonstrated in nearly every section of her Complaint. It also goes to the question of whether Defendant Balter was on firm ground when he reported his conclusion that Kurin had enabled sexual abuse, and provides strong supporting evidence for that inference.
43.     Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “In April of 2020, Balter accused Ran Boytner, the executive director of the Institute for Field Research (“IFR”) of a massive cover up related to systemic misconduct,
something Boytner adamantly denied in a persuasive and credible                      statement, also published by
Balter but decried by him as ‘lies.’”  Defendant Balter will be able to prove at trial that not only Boytner but other leaders of IFR covered up their earlier knowledge of 2016 Kurin’s Title IX proceeding at UCSB and other matters related to Kurin’s involvement with IFR. Balter stands by the factual and documented basis for his reporting on these matters. To make things worse, Balter’s reporting has produced strong evidence that Boytner himself engaged in sexual misconduct (allegedly sexually assaulting a student at his own field school in Peru,) and sexual harassment, bullying, and retaliation against IFR staff. The IFR board of governors terminated Boytner’s position as executive director after these matters came to light.
44.     In this section Kurin refers to Balter’s reporting on the former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide, Peter Rathjen. This is yet another attempt to mislead the Court into thinking that Balter makes wild, unsubstantiated claims about individuals without evidence. Balter stands by his reporting about Rathjen, and asks the Court to note that Rathjen was put on leave earlier this year while being investigated by an Australian government body for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a colleague and other alleged misconduct, and finally resigned for “health reasons.” See https://www.afr.com/work-and-careers/education/adelaide-university-vc-peter-rathjen-resigns-20200720-p55dpb
45.     Plaintiff Kurin states that Balter was “terminated” from his job teaching journalism at City College of New York, where he taught during the 2019-2020 academic year and received the highest student evaluations of his entire teaching career. This statement is false. Balter was not terminated, but, along with 2800 adjunct faculty in the City University of New York system of which CCNY is a part, was not reappointed to teach this fall. Kurin cites Balter’s own blog post about his sadness that he would not longer have contact with the diverse student body at CCNY as her only evidence. Kurin also states that there is some irony here in that Balter thought methods and ethics of journalism. Of course, the fact that the coronavirus pandemic has led to massive layoffs at CUNY and other educational institutions has received wide media coverage, and yet Kurin somehow thinks the Court will regard Balter’s personal situation as evidence of some kind of misconduct. To that end, Kurin’s attorney has filed New York Freedom of Information Law requests with CUNY and CCNY in a vain attempt to find evidence of misconduct by Balter, including—and here is some real irony—any Title IX complaints against him. (There are none.) Kurin’s reckless and desperate attempts to throw any dirt she can at Balter in order to cover up her own  documented misconduct must fail.
46.     Please see No. 45 above for Defendant Balter’s response to these innuendos and falsehoods.


47.     Defendant Balter agrees that Kurin ran a field school in Peru in 2015 with Gomez. Balter notes that a three-year marriage is not “brief,” but also that Kurin and Gomez had been engaged in long-term relationship going back as early as 2009. Based on information and belief, it is common in Peru for couples to tell friends and family they are “married” in situations where they are living together, as Kurin and Gomez did for many years  when she was in Peru. Balter contends that Kurin’s relationship with Gomez, including her sexual relationship, continues to this day despite their divorce effective December 2019.
48.     Kurin refers to an “alleged incident” that took place during her 2015 field school in Peru. In actual fact, as found by UCSB’s Title IX investigation in June 2016, there were several such incidences of sexual harassment by Gomez and some of the direct victims of these actions gave evidence in the proceedings. UCSB concluded its investigation by not only finding that Gomez had indeed sexually harassed students, but that Kurin actively retaliated against several victims and witnesses. That finding led to Kurin’s three year administrative leave. (See Exh X.) Part of Kurin’s retaliation consisted of posting Facebook attacks on the victims in this case, calling them “racist gringas.” Although Kurin has since deleted these posts, screenshots are available (Exh X)
49.     Kurin cooperated with the Title IX investigation for only a limited period of time. Once the Title IX office made the allegations clear to her, she withdrew her cooperation, as stated in the Title IX findings themselves (Exh X). Gomez provided more cooperation than Kurin, but the allegations against him were nevertheless upheld.
50.     Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “UCSB never charged Kurin with sexual harassment or enabling a sexual harasser, and Gomez was never charged with any crime in either the United States or Peru.” This statement is clearly designed to mislead the court. As Defendant Balter pointed out above, one of the most egregious abuses of the judicial process committed by Kurin is her failure to tell the Court that she and Gomez were subject to Title IX proceedings at UCSB and to tell the Court the results of those proceedings. Kurin thus seeks to deny the Court information and context that are absolutely crucial to judging the validity of her claims against Balter. This can only be seen as desperation on her part, because she must have known that Balter would bring this history to the attention of the Court. As for whether UCSB charged Kurin with sexual harassment or “enabling” a sexual harasser, Kurin again attempts to muddy the waters. Balter has never stated that Kurin herself had sexually harassed anyone. But Balter’s statements that she “enabled” a sexual harasser are clearly born out  by the evidence, evaluated in the Title IX investigation, that she had retaliated against students who reported  Gomez. In that sense, she not only attempted to cover up Gomez’s misconduct, but made it possible for she and Gomez to continue hosting students at their field schools in Peru. This led directly to the sexual assaults in 2018, which, Balter contends as his protected opinion, would not have happened had Kurin dissociated herself from  Gomez after 2016. Instead, reader, she married him.
51.     Please see the discussions above about whether the use of the word “guilty” to describe Kurin’s misconduct is appropriate. Even if the Court finds that it is not, or that Balter’s use of the word is not sound, this honest opinion is protected and cannot be used as evidence of defamation.
52.     Kurin makes the following statement: “During the course of its investigation, UCSB became aware of communications Kurin had with participants who had been on the trip to Peru. UCSB then investigated Kurin’s
interactions with the individuals.” Again, Kurin attempts to mislead this Court by masking the true facts of the events she describes. As noted above, the “communications” she mentions were found by an official UCSB investigating body to have consisted of retaliation against the participants at her field school.
53.     Kurin says that she “amicably” settled the issues raised by the Title IX in 2018. Balter does not have information to confirm or deny this statement, but expects to be able to elucidate the matter through discovery in this case. Balter does contend that the Title IX findings were not somehow erased but still stand as the university’s findings. Balter also contends that UCSB put Kurin on a three year administrative leave, a serious disciplinary measure that demonstrates the severity of her misconduct. Were these events to take place today, in the so-called “#MeToo Era,” Balter contends that it is more likely her employment would have been terminated. Finally, Kurin makes the following statement: “Neither UCSB nor any other entity found Kurin guilty or liable for any misconduct.” Plaintiff Balter has provided ample evidence above that this statement is not only misleading but factually wrong.
54.     Kurin makes the following statement: “In 2016, Kurin and Gomez married.” Balter agrees that the couple were married in February 2016 in Santa Barbara. However, Balter is actively investigating whether Kurin and Gomez were married earlier in Peru, and reserves the right to amend this Answer once that investigation is completed.

    55. In this section, Plaintiff Kurin refers to an “incident” that “allegedly occurred” at her 2018 field school in Peru, involving Gomez and some other Peruvians. It is telling that Kurin fails to say what the incident consisted of. In reality, Gomez sexually assaulted at least two students during the field school season, including one—at the very end of the season—who is still traumatized today by her experiences. Kurin’s statement that she “immediately reported” the incident to “appropriate authorities” is false and misleading. As Balter has reported, at a meeting of some of the field school students and teaching assistants the next day after the “incident,” Kurin attempted to placate the students and actually blamed the assaulted student—whom I called Student No. 3 in Balter’s reporting, to protect her identity—for what had happened to her. A recording of this meeting, which the students made with Kurin’s knowledge, is in Balter’s possession and reveals a very different picture than that falsely given by Kurin to this Court. It is true that Kurin reported the incident to officials of the Institute for Field Research, which had sponsored the field school, but ONLY after the students made it clear that they were going to make their own report to IFR. Balter does not know the extent to which Kurin cooperated with the inquiry by IFR, but intends to explore that question via legal discovery.
56.     It is true that UCSB was not involved in the 2018 incident at the time, although more recently a number of individuals, including Student No. 3, have filed Title IX complaints against Kurin. Balter will update the Court on those filings below. Although Balter does not have direct confirmation, he believes that Gomez was found to have engaged in “inappropriate behavior,” if sexual assault can be fairly described that way. On information and belief, IFR did find that Kurin had herself behaved inappropriately, on at least two counts: She allowed the drunken Gomez to enter the house where Student No. 3 was sheltering after the assault, and she failed to provide an environment for the students. Finally, IFR did not end its relationship with Kurin’s field program, it ended its relationship with Kurin herself. Kurin’s statement that this was “without prejudice” is absolutely false. As IFR executive director put it in a note to the field school students on October 17, 2019 after the investigation was completed:

“We have completed our investigation into complaints of alleged inappropriate behavior during the night of July 13-14 at the Peru-Wari field school. Our investigation was conducted promptly, thoroughly and confidentially, as is our practice.  In our investigation we did substantiate that inappropriate behavior occurred. Such conduct violates IFR policy and standards of conduct.
The IFR will no longer work with Dr. Danielle Kurin, the director of the field school.    
At this point, we consider the investigation closed.
Ran Boytner
Executive Director”

During a recent “Town Hall’ at UCLA held to discuss matters concerning how IFR had handled incidents of sexual abuse, and the reasons why Boytner was no longer executive director, IFR board members confirmed the statement above that IFR would no longer work with Kurin. The reasons given included the 2018 field school events and the 2016 Title IX, which by then had become widely known due to Balter’s reporting.

57.     Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “Soon after the IFR completed its investigation, Kurin and Gomez separated and Kurin filed for divorce.” In Kurin’s divorce records, which Balter has obtained from the California Superior Court for Santa Barbara, Kurin states that she and Gomez were separated in August 2018, that is very shortly after the July 2018 incidents at her field school referred to above. On information and belief, this was not a real separation, because during 2019, according to several direct witnesses Balter has interviewed, Gomez and Kurin continued to operate together as a couple. Nevertheless, it is not true that Kurin filed for divorce from Gomez “soon” after IFR completed its investigation, by any stretch of the meaning of that word. As stated above, the IFR investigation was completed in October 2018; Kurin filed for divorce in May 2019 (See Exh X.) A more likely explanation is that Kurin, realizing that she was returning to teaching at UCSB in fall 2019 and would be up for tenure a year later, sought to create the impression among her colleagues that she had severed her ties with Gomez. As discussed below, that is not true.
58.     Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “Kurin has not communicated substantively with Gomez, save for effecting the divorce proceedings and closing down research projects, for close to two years as of the date of
filing of this action.” On information and belief, Balter contends that this statement, made under penalty of perjury, is not true. Balter has communicated with three witnesses who observed the couple in Peru during 2019. One of those witnesses, someone who has passing through Andahuaylas, where Gomez is based, observed that they were “acting like a couple.” Two of the witnesses observed Kurin in Gomez’s bedroom (and bed) and assert that they were sleeping together. While it is often the case that a separated or divorced couple might sleep together in recognition of feelings that they still had, or once had, towards each other, these facts suggest that Kurin has lied to the Court about the matter.
59.     Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “In September 2019, Kurin returned to UCSB as a full-time assistant professor and has been highly successful.” Defendant Balter agrees that Kurin returned to UCSB and teaching at that time. As for whether she has been highly successful, this depends on the meaning of that term. Balter has never denied that Kurin can be a talented teacher, and he has no knowledge on which to judge her academic scholarship. But Balter does believe, based on his reporting, that faculty in her department are now keenly aware of her history of misconduct, as revealed by Balter’s accurate and honest reporting, and that that awareness has created a cloud over Kurin’s tenure bid. This is due to Kurin’s own actions, and her attempts to hide them, and not to anything that Balter has done. For example, Balter has talked to individuals who were told by Kurin that she was “exonerated” in the Title IX process, which is flatly untrue; Ran Boytner has made similar statements to a broader number of archaeologists. It is inevitable that Kurin’s fellow faculty members will take note of the discrepancies between the actual record of the 2016 Title IX process and Kurin’s false descriptions of it to others.
60.     Defendant Balter makes no argument with these assertions about Kurin’s teaching skills and academic life.
61.     Balter agrees that Kurin’s tenure process will begin in September 2020.
62.     Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “Nevertheless, Balter’s lies and misrepresentations have caused Kurin severe harm.” In this and the following two sections, Kurin asserts that everything would have gone fine for her were it not for Balter’s reporting about her, and that only Balter is responsible for the troubles she is now experiencing with her tenure bid and with her reputation in the scientific community. Nothing could be further from the truth. Balter’s accurate and honest reporting finds that Kurin has been a subject of conversation in the archaeological community for many years, long before Balter had first heard of her last fall. Indeed, Balter began his reporting on Kurin because he was approached by an archaeologist who knew of her misconduct going back many years, and was in touch with victims of Gomez and Kurin’s negligence at her field schools. This initial source, along with many other former field school students, students at UCSB, and other individuals who had known and followed Kurin’s career, were very concerned that UCSB was allowing Kurin to return to teaching and to contact with students, because they clearly stated that Kurin was a “danger to students.” (This last phrase has been used numerous times in my conversations with these concerned colleagues.) Thus, Defendant Balter, as a reporter, has served mainly as a messenger for these concerns and the very well established and documented facts that support those concerns.
63.     See No. 62 above. Plaintiff Kurin really has it backwards. Balter has reported the concerns of others, and reported on their testimonies about abuses committed by her former husband Gomez as well as Kurin’s own negligence and enabling of those abuses over many years. He did not originate these assertions, nor, clearly, did he make them up to harm Kurin. Balter has no malice towards Kurin, even if he has expressed his protected opinion that she should not receive tenure at UCSB. Balter is far, far from alone in this belief.
64.  See responses to No. 62 and 63 above. Again, Balter totally denies that he is the source of Kurin’s problems.

For the next section, beginning with No. 65, please see the next blog post.

Post a Comment


Anonymous said…
The fact that Kurin relies so heavily on one Amazon reviewer’s clearly misconstrued reading of your Gimbutas story as "evidence" against your credibility and character, yet without even bothering to open the book to fact-check her claim, should be considered as malice based on hearsay. Sue her! I'm sure that Scher will be greedy enough to take your case.
Anonymous said…
Regarding point 19: if she actually dares to claim that her bad reputation is Balter’s doing, she has another thing coming. In addition to the Title IX’s (plural) and all that, here are plenty of complaint emails sent to UCSB and IFR administration from students who were appalled with the way she conducted herself in the field schools, both professionally and ethically. This was long before Balter got into the picture.
Anonymous said…
Some – perhaps even Kurin & Scher – may argue that the archaeologists who are quoted on the jacket cover were solicited or cherry-picked, and therefore represent a biased testimony. Not that I think for a moment that Fagan, Trigger, or Lord Renfrew will promote any publication they don’t believe in, but an equally valid argument will be to highlight those positive appraisals from the same Amazon page cited in the complaint. The editorial/literary reviews are strong in themselves:
But perhaps also some of the other costumers’ reviews will counteract the negative ones that Kurin brings forth. My personal favorite is by the noted Africanist archaeologist Dr. Scott MacEachern:
Not only does he fully appreciate the value of Balter’s clear exposition of archaeological theory in action, but he also understands the true value of focusing on the social life of archaeologists in the field. In his own words:
“Balter's account of the social aspect of excavation on the site is great. Archaeological projects are usually intensely social situations -- sometimes too much so -- unlike the more solitary work of cultural anthropologists. The goings-on in field camps often enter the folklore of the discipline, and again are part of the biography of the site. Digs _are_ 'Archaeology Camp' (sometimes in both senses of the latter word) and it's refreshing to see a realistic portrayal of how fieldwork happens on one of the biggest, most complex archaeological projects in the world. This book is really excellent. I've been recommending it to acquaintances, not just as a book about Catal Höyük (although it's great coverage of that site) but as a book about how archaeology gets done.”
Michael Balter said…
Thanks very much to the last Commentor for reminding me about Scott’s very kind remarks about the book. Those are going straight into the answer to the complaint
Anonymous said…
This is a good one by Andrew Fairbairn, School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Australia at the Australian Archaeological Association website.


Here is another one from goodreads.

And another one.

Yet another one in the European Journal of Archaeology - this is behind paywall but I can send a pdf to Michael (if you wish).

More -





Overall, very positive reviews internationally. It covers very difficult and controversial topics, so not everyone will be thrilled reading it, but they are in the minority.
Anonymous said…
“43. Plaintiff Kurin makes the following statement: “In April of 2020, Balter accused Ran Boytner, the executive director of the Institute for Field Research (“IFR”) of a massive cover up related to systemic misconduct, something Boytner adamantly denied in a persuasive and credible statement, also published by Balter but decried by him as ‘lies.’

Balter’s reporting has produced strong evidence that Boytner himself engaged in sexual misconduct (allegedly sexually assaulting a student at his own field school in Peru,) and sexual harassment, bullying, and retaliation against IFR staff. The IFR board of governors terminated Boytner’s position as executive director after these matters came to light.”

In the above-mentioned statement that Kurin deems as “persuasive and credible”, Ran Boytner did in fact lie to all his cc’d colleagues. UCLA had found him in 2009 to have engaged in inappropriate conduct that violated two regulations within “Types of Unacceptable Conduct” of the University of California Faculty Code of Conduct Policy (APM 015; Part II, Section A):
A. Entering into a romantic or sexual relationship with any student for whom a faculty member has, or should reasonably expect to have in the future, academic responsibility (instructional, evaluative, or supervisory);
B. Exercising academic responsibility (instructional, evaluative, or supervisory) for any student with whom a faculty member has a romantic or sexual relationship.”

The disciplinary actions and sanctions taken were the following:
1. Jul 2009: The immediate removal of Boytner from his field school in Peru.
2. Jul 2009: Placing Boytner on an investigatory leave and prohibiting him from coming to UCLA campus.
3. Nov 2009: Following the investigation’s conclusion that Boytner had violated the UC Faculty Code of Conduct Policy: prohibiting him from repeating his actions.
4. Nov 2009: Prohibiting Boytner to act as an instructor in the UCLA Archaeology Field Program for the indefinite future.
5. Nov 2009: Prohibiting Boytner from continued contact with undergraduate students without a third party present.
6. Nov 2009: Directing Boytner to attend sexual harassment prevention training at UCLA (attended on Dec. 2009).

In that same “persuasive and credible statement” as Kurin would have it, Boytner also neglected to mention the student’s lawsuit which required him and UCLA pay for her damages. These legal proceedings are available online and were covered in length in other posts and comments on this blog.

On November 2010, three weeks after being served for the above lawsuit, Ran Boytner was terminated from his position at UCLA.
Anonymous said…
Since Kurin is strongly supportive of Ran Boytner in her lawsuit (to the point that many now believe he is directly involved in the composition of the complaint), it is important to clarify a key aspect in the above comment:
In his 5/11/20 email to colleagues titled “Cyberbullying and the IFR”, Boytner writes “The blogger discussed a 2009 Title IX investigation against me while I was at UCLA … The blogger wrote that I was accused of serious violations and sexual assault and harassment. He also wrote that none was substantiated, and that UCLA investigation found I did not violate university policy”.
With this statement, Boytner is clearly and knowingly deceiving his colleagues. Balter, a.k.a. “the blogger”, never actually wrote that none of the serious accusations were substantiated and that UCLA investigation found he did not violate university policy. Balter merely cited Charles Stanish’s letter that declares that Boytner was not found to have violated the UCLA’s SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY (as they should have, considering the circumstances of the case).
However, and as specified in the previous comment, UCLA *did* find Boytner to have violated UCLA’s FACULTY CODE OF CONDUCT POLICY, also known as GENERAL UNIVERSITY POLICY REGARDING ACADEMIC APPOINTEES (APM – 015).
This is precisely why all the above-cited disciplinary sanctions were imposed on Boytner.

If Kurin was unaware of the above fact, she should immediately request those official records from UCLA (or Boytner) and amend her complaint accordingly. If she *is* aware, then by citing and supporting Boytner she is siding with yet another documented sexual aggressor.
Anonymous said…
1. For a short time; fleetingly.
"he worked briefly as a lawyer”
2. A period of long three years, where a lot of bad things happened; often used by archaeologists who are attempting to hide those bad things.
“In Kurin v. Balter, the Plaintiff argues she was briefly married to Enmanuel Gomez”
“At the UCLA Town Hall meeting, Willeke Wendrich told everyone that Danielle Kurin was briefly a member of the IFR board”
Michael Balter said…
To the definition of “briefly” we should add the definition of “soon”—As in, soon after the IFR completed its investigation she filed for divorce from Gomez. in this case soon meant seven months.
Anonymous said…
And while we’re at it, also “promptly”, as in “Ran Boytner wrote to students that the IFR investigation was conducted promptly”. When in reality they waited over two months after the events to interview the witnesses.
Anonymous said…
In regard to Par. 34, on Balter’s book and cherry-picking Amazon reviews: “Kurin’s purpose here, to portray Balter as somehow unnaturally interested in the sex lives of others and thus motivated to make false statements about the subjects of his reporting, including Kurin, are totally false.”
That is right, it is too easy these days to take something out of context in order to shame the writer. Just to pick another random example, if someone tweets and retweets the following:
“Is Porn Really to Blame for Erectile Dysfunction?”
“Why do lesbians have more orgasms than heterosexual women?”
It doesn’t necessarily mean he is an impotent male obsessed with girl-on-girl porn.
Right Mr. Scher?