Photographer and Professor of Photography at Columbia, Thomas Roma, Accused of Sexual Assault

In news that is almost no longer surprising, another photographer of note has been accused of sexual misconduct by several women.

As well as a working photographer, Thomas Roma has also served as a professor and director of the photography program at Columbia University, of which his accusers are former students. He has also given TED talks. According to the New York Times, a total of five women have now gone on record to claim that over a decade ago, whilst they were young students, Roma abused his position of power at the university to make sexual advances. The accusations range from sexual harassment through to oral rape, with the statements claiming the situation began with a promise of mentorship from Roma.

One of those named in the account is Mozhan Marno. Now an actress, with roles in the likes of “House of Cards” and “The Blacklist,” Marno provided intimate details of their meeting, in which she asserts the sexual encounter between she and Roma was initiated entirely by he. She says she wrote to Columbia in January 2000, but the respective panel reviewing the case concluded they were both complicit in the incident.

Roma denies all of the accusations and has hired a lawyer, who said:

The statements they are making about his asserted misconduct are replete with inaccuracies and falsehoods. All four have taken isolated, innocent incidents, none of them predatory, and have created fictitious versions of reality that are libelous and in the present political climate designed to damage his career and his personal life. Professor Roma’s sympathies then and now lie with those who have been mistreated in any way and he completely fails to understand why these women have chosen to create these complaints two decades after the alleged facts supposedly occurred.

Interestingly, less than 24 hours after the New York Times report, Roma has taken voluntary retirement from his positions at Columbia, with immediate effect.

Lead image credit: Pixabay via Pexels, used under Creative Commons.

[via The New York Times]

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3 Comments

Make it stop

Gabrielle Colton's picture

Hate seeing this, I'm just glad it's being talked about finally!! Too many of these incidents get swept under the rug and never prosecuted.

This: "she asserts the sexual encounter between she and Roma was initiated entirely by he" deserves some sort of prize for writing.