Major secularist organizations are cutting ties with Arizona State University (ASU) professor Lawrence Krauss after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment.
In an article published by Buzzfeed on Feb. 22, Krauss was accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior over the last decade "including groping women, ogling and making sexist jokes to undergrads, and telling an employee at ASU, where he is a tenured professor, that he was going to buy her birth control so she didn't inconvenience him with maternity leave."
Krauss, who is known for his work on the symbolic "Doomsday Clock," has denied all the accusations against him, calling them "false and misleading allegations."
ASU officials decided to put Krauss on paid leave and announced that the school has began a review of the his conduct. The theoretical physicist has since resigned from his post as the chairman of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' board.
On Friday, the Washington, D.C.-based American Humanist Association (AHA) announced that it has removed Krauss from its pool of featured speakers and has also considered rescinding his 2015 Humanist of the Year Award.
The Center for Inquiry, based in New York, also announced that it is cutting ties with Krauss, saying it has "zero-tolerance for sexual harassment."
"Serious allegations have been raised regarding Lawrence Krauss, and we suspend our association with him pending further information," the organization said in a tweet last week.
Last Thursday, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation announced that its leaders had voted to cut ties with Krauss soon after the Buzzfeed article was published.
The group stated that it has found "well-documented allegations of sexual misconduct against Lawrence Krauss" to contradict "FFRF's commitment to feminist values."
The FFRF noted that Krauss had joined the board of the organization two years ago, but it stressed that the position was "purely an honorific."
The Buzzfeed article noted that many of the women accusing Krauss have requested anonymity for fear of professional or legal retaliation from the theoretical physicist.
One of the professor's accusers, Melody Hensley, claimed that he invited her to dinner after they met at a CFI event in November 2006. She recounted that they planned to eat at a restaurant at the Washington D.C. hotel where Krauss was staying, but he had asked her to come up instead to his room while he wrapped up some work.
At one point, Hensley said that the professor got very close to her face and had pushed her onto the bed beneath him. Krauss forcibly kissed Hensley and tried to pull down the crotch of her tights as she struggled to push him off, the Buzzfeed article narrated. When the professor pulled out a condom, Hensley was somehow able to break free and storm out of the room.
Krauss has reportedly told Buzzfeed that the incident in the hotel room was consensual, but Hensley insisted that it was not. "It was definitely predatory. I didn't want that to happen. It wasn't consensual," she said.
Some skeptic blogs have reportedly published some of the other allegations against Krauss, but were quickly taken down for fear of legal action.