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Fisk University President Placed On Leave After Abuse Allegations By Man He Allegedly Met On Grindr

Fisk University President Dr. Kevin Rome Sr. (Photo via Fisk University)

Nashville,TN—NBC affiliate WSMV is reporting that Fisk University President Dr. Kevin Rome Sr. has been placed on leave following allegations of a May sexual encounter with a man he allegedly met on the gay dating app Grindr. The encounter has resulted in sexual abuse and drugging allegations by the unidentified victim. A Nashville court has also granted the victim a restraining order against Rome.

The restraining order states an individual, who alleges he and Rome were dating, told police he was in fear for his safety. 

The restraining order comes after an alleged incident on Aug. 6 where the victim told police that he received a message while at dinner. The message read he "should stay away from his people and threatened to kill me if I continued to date black men."  

According to the restraining order, the victim told police that the man who sent him the message and Rome had allegedly done the following:

  • broke into his place

  • wrote homophobic things on the walls

  • stole things

  • tampered with the plumbing to cause sewage to destroy [his] apartment

The victim told police the damage to his apartment happened between June 14 and 15 and he was unsure who did it, according to the restraining order. 

According to the victim, he and Rome spent the night together after meeting up on the dating app "Grindr" in May.

According to the restraining order, on June 14, Rome dosed the victim with GHB "causing me to go in and out of consciousness, and invited other people over to have sex in my bed."

According to the restraining order, the man who sent him the message on August 6 was one of the men invited to the apartment. 

The petitioner is now living in a hotel due to the damage and the threats he believes are motivated by jealousy because he’s dating Rome’s alleged ex, reports The Grio.

“I have learned that my boyfriend that I was dating at the time of this incident is “Rob’s” ex, and I was afraid that “Rob” did all of this out of jealousy,” the victim wrote in his complaint.

“I am now terrified to leave my house because of the threat on my life. I am very fearful that “Rob” may follow through on the threat to kill me and I want him to stay away from me and not contact me.”

Rome has denied the allegations through his attorney and had this to say about the allegations in a phone call with Scoop Nashville: “I’m just as shocked as you, I have no idea who this person is and I can’t even respond to it because I don’t even know who they are."

According to the restraining order, Rome is ordered to not have any contact with the man. 

Rome's Attorney Jay Steed called the accusations against his client "false" and said he "categorically denies the allegations." Steed added Rome "plans to fight the case in court and clear his good name."

"It is important to note that these are merely civil accusations. Dr. Rome has not been charged with any crime. Dr. Rome is most concerned for his family, friends and the community at Fisk University for any harm they are experiencing as a result of these spurious charges. He expresses his deepest thanks to all those who have reached out to him over the past few days expressing their support," Steed said in a statement to News 4.

Rome moved to Nashville in 2017 when he was selected as Fisk University's 16th president.

Fisk University issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon.

Monday, Aug. 10, Fisk University learned that allegations unrelated to our school had been made against University President Kevin Rome, PhD.  As this is a personal matter not connected to the school, we cannot comment on the specifics. Dr. Rome has been placed on leave until the matter is resolved and Provost Vann Newkirk, PhD, will assume his duties effective immediately.

According to Rome's official Fisk University bio, he is married with two children.

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