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Portland State University Sued For Professor's Alleged Obsession With Student's BDSM Modeling

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Former Portland State University student Whitney "Theda" Orlando claims in a lawsuit an assistant professor at the school was fixated on her career doing pornography modeling, the Oregonian reports.

Orlando alleges then-assistant professor of English Marcia Klotz persuaded her into discussing personal issues about her past sexual abuse when she took Klotz's course "The Erotics of Power." Klotz asked Orlando for copies of sexually explicit photos of Orlando, the suit claims, after learning of Orlando's past doing BSDM modeling.

The professor's intense interest in her work in pornography caused stress, anxiety, heart problems and eventually became the reason Orlando left the university without finishing her degree, the lawsuit claims.

The university concedes in a court filing that Klotz exchanged more than 200 emails with Orlando from 2009 to 2012, many of which about sexual topics, but that Orlando never complained prior to the suit. Orlando was hospitalized at one point for heart problems, but did not indicate at the time it was due to any alleged harassment.

"Interactions with [Orlando] during this period were designed and intended to encourage [Orlando] to share sexually oriented material and sensitive details of [Orlando's] sexual life with Klotz," Orlando's suit states. "Klotz's interest and participation in [Orlando's] sexual life during this time blurred professional and personal boundaries between herself and [Orlando]."

At one point, Klotz served as a mentor when Orlando was accepted to a prestigious Ronald McNair scholars program.

The Oregonian reports:

Klotz complimented some bondage photographs Orlando sent her, requested and accepted more, and asked Orlando to put her in touch with others who engaged in bondage or sadomasochism so she could ask them research questions, PSU lawyers say.

Klotz declined to comment for this story, on the advice of attorneys. Orlando, through her attorney, also declined to comment.

Orlando left the school without a degree last spring and is now attending Marylhurst University.

During two years of the time this relationship between Klotz and Orlando carried on, Klotz was overseen by her husband, Leerom Medovoi, who was chair of the English department from 2011 to 2013, according to the Oregonian.

Both Klotz and Medovoi have since left PSU for the University of Arizona.

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