Princeton U. bans harassment suspect
Thursday, April 07, 2005
BY KELLY HEYBOER
Princeton University has banned from campus a graduate student charged with tampering with the drinks or secretly snipping the hair of dozens of Asian women, campus officials said yesterday.
Princeton President Shirley Tilghman officially banned Michael Lohman, a married third-year graduate student, from campus Tuesday. The rarely used power allows administrators to bypass the university’s judicial process for the health and safety of other students on campus, said Lauren Robinson- Brown, a Princeton spokeswoman.
Lohman, 28, was arrested last week after an Asian student reported someone had cut off a lock of her hair while she was riding a campus shuttle bus, Princeton Borough police said.
Lohman was already a suspect in reports of a white male pouring an unknown substance into the drinks of Asian women around campus, police said. When he was questioned last week, Lohman admitted he had secretly cut the hair of at least nine Asian women, according to the police report.
He also confessed to adding his urine and semen to the drinks of Asian women more than 50 times in the graduate student dining hall and other locations since 2002, police said.
Investigators searching the campus apartment Lohman shares with his wife found women’s underwear and numerous mittens believed to be linked to thefts around Princeton.
Lohman was charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with food, harassment and theft. He was taken to Capital Health Systems, Fuld Campus in Trenton for a psychiatric evaluation.
He was still voluntarily hospitalized as of yesterday, though police declined to give any details.
Princeton Borough police Lt. Dennis McManimon said he believes more charges will be filed as word of the arrest spreads. “We suspect there are going to be more women coming forward,” McManimon said. “He’s been on campus since 2002.”
At least one more Asian student contacted police yesterday with a story about someone snipping a lock of her hair, McManimon said.
“We have every reason to believe every victim is an Asian female,” McManimon said.
Lohman, a graduate student in the applied and computational mathematics department, helped teach a high-level math class at Princeton. He and his wife, who is not a student, live in the Butler apartments on campus, school officials said.
It was unclear yesterday whether Lohman’s wife would be asked to leave the campus housing.
“The university is working with the family,” Robinson-Brown said.
Princeton officials also are offering counseling to victims and urging any other students who may have come in contact with Lohman to come forward.