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Photographer Bill Frakes loses university position after sexual harassment report

Photographer Bill Frakes, whose career has included shooting for the likes of Sports Illustrated and Coca-Cola, has been removed from his position as visiting professor at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. The decision was made by the university after it judged that a report claiming sexual harassment against Frakes was credible. News of the allegations first surfaced in documents obtained by The World-Herald.

University of Nebraska spokesman Steve Smith confirmed the report to PDN, saying Frakes was originally appointed to teach through the Fall semester, but that following the university’s decision, “Prof. Frakes is not teaching any courses at Nebraska this Fall.” Additional details weren’t provided for the sake of privacy.

The matter revolves around a report filed by student Calla Kessler. According to those who have viewed the leaked documents, Frakes was accused of violating university sexual harassment policies by commenting on female students’ bodies and clothing, as well as calling female editors “bit***s” and browsing photos of “scantily clad” women using his phone while in a car that contained female students. His actions are said to have only applied to women, not men.

In addition, Frakes was accused of making threats to students that included the ability to “end their careers” and advising that students shouldn’t “piss [him] off.” The university reportedly corroborated the accusations with other witnesses to these alleged actions and statements. Following the investigation, UNL decided to remove Frakes from his role as visiting professor.

For his part, Frakes has remained silent on the matter, stating the confidential nature of the proceedings. “The final hearing has not taken place,” he told PDN. “The university has directed the process be confidential, and I intend to honor that request.” Though he didn’t offer any further statements on the matter, he did reveal that he is appealing the university’s decision.

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