A Cambridge University academic at the centre of a sexual harassment case has been revealed as the author of an erotic work of fiction about students.
Dr Peter Hutchinson, a former lecturer in modern and medieval languages, left teaching at Trinity Hall in 2015 following an internal investigation after facing complaints of ‘inappropriate sexual and sexist comments’ from 10 students.
Now, it has been revealed by Tortoise, that he published an erotic novel under the pseudonym of ‘Barry Able’ at the time of the 2015 complaints.
Dr Hutchinson has confirmed he is the author of the book that is called ‘First Time: Ooo-la-la!’
Dr Peter Hutchinson left teaching at Trinity Hall in 2015 following an internal investigation after facing complaints of ‘inappropriate sexual and sexist comments’ comments. (Hutchinson is seen here in 2006 at Norwich Crown Court when he was accused of sexually assaulting a woman. He was cleared)
Dr Hutchinson, 74, who was a former vice-master at the prestigious college, quit teaching and issued a public apology for his ‘thoughtless, insensitive and offensive’ behaviour in 2017.
The modern and medieval languages don was accused of offering a ‘big kiss’ to one undergraduate on her birthday and allegedly asked a group of four students if they would ‘sleep their way to the top’ during a film night he hosted at his house.
The married academic also allegedly asked his students if they had ‘ever had any love bites’.
While discussing the subject of a dominatrix in a book, it is claimed he asked a female student: ‘Does that turn you on?’
After an internal investigation, Trinity Hall announced Dr Hutchinson had ‘withdrawn permanently from any further involvement with college affairs’ and would ‘not be present in college at any time in the future’.
Following an open letter signed by more 1,300 students and alumni, Dr Hutchinson resigned in November 2019 . A hall in the college is pictured above
However, in October 2019, the college said its statement was ‘incorrect’ and that Dr Hutchinson would now be allowed back to ‘attend certain college events’.
The college said Dr Hutchinson had automatically became an emeritus fellow upon his retirement, which meant he could not be banned from campus after all.
The archaic rules mean Trinity Hall could have faced legal action from Dr Hutchinson if it did not allow him to return, according to the BBC.
Following an open letter signed by more 1,300 students and alumni, he resigned in November 2019.
The plot of the book, self-published in 2015 and called ‘First Time: Ooo-la-la!’, focuses on a fictitious Oxford college and mentions female undergraduates who are members of a club called ‘The Virgins’. To become a member the students must sleep, on average, with a man each week during the semester or sleep with a fellow.
The book’s cover features an image of a single female leg clad in a stocking, which belonged to a Trinity Hall student.
Lines in the book include: ‘Yes, yes,’ said the Dean, refocusing his glasses. ‘Let’s just call her a brazen hussy. Good god!’
Dr Hutchinson said: ‘I don’t really see a problem about using an unidentifiable photo of a Trinity Hall student, especially since she was very pleased to provide it. I recall her saying she would look forward to showing it to her grandchildren in due course!’ Hutchinson stressed he was not present when the photo was taken.
He added that the book offered a ‘progressive’ view of women.
‘In the opening scene, for example, an all-women’s society is in control, totally liberated, it is they who are ‘conquering’ men, not the other way around,’ he said.
In 2006, Dr Hutchinson twice stood trial accused of indecently assaulting a police officer, a former student, after inviting her for a drink in his rooms at Trinity Hall college.
He was cleared of groping the woman.
Standing outside court with his wife Helen in 2006, Dr Hutchinson said: ‘The last 12 months have been horrible for me, but I’ve survived because I’ve always known I was innocent and because I’ve had such tremendous support from so many quarters.
‘I am extremely disappointed that the Crown Prosecution Service decided to bring this case and I shall be making an appropriate complaint.’
Asked why the policewoman had accused him of assaulting her while making a ‘pervy, Benny Hill groaning’ noise, he replied: ‘I wish I knew.’
His wife, who is senior medical officer for family planning at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, said: ‘I never doubted he was innocent. But there is always the chance the jury might convict.’
Dr Hutchinson’s first trial, in Cambridge in April, was halted for legal reasons.
The second, at Norwich Crown Court, heard how he invited the 25-year-old woman to his college rooms in October 2005.
Dr Hutchinson said he had twice patted her bottom on previous occasions and she had not objected.
He had sent her an e-mail explaining how ‘blondes with a certain eye colour’ made him go ‘weak at the knees’ and said she gave the impression she was flattered.
After his arrest, Dr Hutchinson told detectives he was ‘dumbfounded’ and ’emotionally devastated’.
He said: ‘I just cannot understand how something which seemed so trivial was so important to her, and I cannot really see it as a sexual assault.’
He accepted he had probably tried to kiss and touch the woman, despite being rebuffed. He said: ‘Maybe the gin had gone to my head. It was a stiff one. I think I must have found her irresistible. But I didn’t use force, she’s bigger than me.’