"Campus Casanova" on trial for selling doctorates

30th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

The law professor is accused of trading sex for higher degrees.

Hildesheim, Germany -- A German law professor went on trial Wednesday for allegedly selling coveted doctorates in law to candidates who had not fulfilled the academic requirements.

Also in the dock in the city of Hildesheim is a 30-year-old female student, who is alleged to have received an assistant position and inflated marks in exchange for sex with the professor.

The professor, charged with 78 counts of corruption, appeared confident dressed in a smart blue suit, while the blonde assistant at his side was evidently nervous.

The "Campus Casanova" at Leibniz University in the German city of Hanover, as the local press has called him, is accused of receiving at least 184,000 euros ($272,000) from a consultancy firm that introduced him to his illicit clients.

The company is alleged to have paid over the money between October 1996 and May 2005 in exchange for approving the dissertations of candidates who had not fulfilled the necessary academic requirements.

The consultancy is also alleged to have earned large sums through the transactions-- up to 22,000 euros for a single doctorate - from lawyers aiming to increase their standing by having the title of doctor.

The problem is said to be widespread in Germany, where academic degrees are particularly highly regarded.

The professor's weakness for his female students proved his downfall.

Two students refused to accept him as examiner, fearing that they would be suspected of having secured their grades by offering sexual favours. The university then initiated a formal probe.

The trial is to continue Feb. 6.

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