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Dean of Christ Church College steps down following three-year legal battle over sexual harassment claims

by Sophie Drew

The dean of Christ Church College in Oxford has agreed to step down following a three-year legal battle. 

Professor Martyn Percy is an Anglican priest and theologian, and became embroiled in a lengthy mediation process following claims, including sexual harassment. 

An employment tribunal was scheduled for 2023, but it will no longer go ahead. 

Prof Percy was suspended in November 2018, but a tribunal in June 2019 resulted in 27 complaints being dismissed. 

Sir Andrew Smith, a retired high court judge hired by the college to chair the tribunal, ordered he be reinstated. 

In a statement Christ Church said "a resolution has been reached that is acceptable to all parties" after mediation "to resolve a number of outstanding issues".

"The individual who made the allegation of sexual harassment against the dean has agreed to settle her claim in terms which on her request are confidential." 

According to the Financial Times, Professor Percy will receive £1.2 million. 

Releasing a statement of his own, the professor said: "I can now step aside, and look forward to resuming a normal life with my wife Emma, who has been such a rock of strength during this painful struggle.

"While the past four years have often been harrowing, I have drawn great comfort from the unwavering support of colleagues, alumni and friends."

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