Family & Education

Cambridge University don wrote erotic fiction about students

Dr Peter Hutchinson Image copyright PA
Image caption Dr Peter Hutchinson stopped teaching after an internal investigation in 2015

A Cambridge University academic who was accused of sexual harassment published erotic fiction about students the year complaints were made against him.

Dr Peter Hutchinson quit teaching at Trinity Hall in 2015 following an internal investigation into his conduct.

It has now emerged he self-published a raunchy book centred around a university in the same year.

The don said the book offered a "progressive" view of women.

Dr Hutchinson, a former lecturer in modern and medieval languages, had agreed to stop teaching and attending social events in 2015 after facing complaints of "inappropriate" comments from 10 students.

But last year the BBC discovered he had retained some college privileges.

He then resigned in November after more than 1,300 students and alumni signed an open letter protesting that he had been allowed to keep his post.

Now, following an investigation by Tortoise, it has emerged that he published an erotic novel under a pseudonym at the time of the 2015 complaints.

'Ooo-la-la!'

Dr Hutchinson has confirmed he is the author of "First Time: Ooo-la-la!", which was published under the name "Barry Able".

The books tells the story of an "innocent" first year student called Peter at a fictitious Oxford college who is found guilty of alleged sexual impropriety after a "series of erotic adventures".

Most of the women students in the book are members of a college sex club called "The Virgins" and must sleep with a man - or senior academic - each week to remain in the group.

In the opening of the text, a female student is called a "brazen hussy" and others are described as being "well endowed" in lingerie, suspenders and garter-belts.

It also contains references to bondage, voyeurism and public humiliation.

The front-cover features an image of a woman's leg in stockings, which Dr Hutchinson confirmed belonged to a former Trinity Hall student.

Dr Hutchinson said that he did not "see a problem using an unidentifiable photo" of a student, adding he was not present when it was taken.

Sophie Newbery, 23, who graduated in German and Russian from Trinity Hall in 2018, said she was "disgusted" and "uncomfortable" by its contents.

Image copyright Sophie Newbery
Image caption Sophie Newbery - one of Dr Hutchinson's former students - says she was "disgusted" by his book

In 2015, she was one of 10 students who complained that Dr Hutchinson had asked them during a seminar if they had "ever had any love bites" and, while discussing the subject of a dominatrix in a book, asked a female student: "Does that turn you on?".

Dr Hutchinson said his book had a "progressive view of women" who were "totally liberated".

Sexual assault charges

Dr Peter Hutchinson was cleared of criminal charges of sexual assault in 2006 after a complaint brought by an ex-student.

The book echoes parts of the court case and gives a fictionalised account of the encounter.

Ellie Pyemont, now 38, who brought the case, told the BBC she "recognised" herself in the pages.

"It is pathetic that he wrote and self-published this misogynistic, crass and deluded story," she said.

"The significant point is that the person behind this derisory book was in a position of power over young people at Trinity Hall for decades."

Image copyright Ellie Pyemont
Image caption Ellie Pyemont says the erotica was "misogynistic, crass and deluded"

Dr Hutchinson said it was unlikely Trinity Hall was aware of the book and that its publication had nothing to do with the college.

He said the "recasting is so broad that it bears no relation to real life".

"It needs to be emphasised that an author rarely thinks the same way as his main character," he said.

Follow Rianna on Twitter at @The_Crox

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