A graduate student is accusing an LSU employee placed on paid administrative leave by the university this week of sexual and physical abuse, stalking and harassment.
Marc Boudreaux, 43, extorted Elizabeth Lum for sex and manipulated her into staying in an abusive relationship with him by threatening to get her fired from the research lab where they both worked, Lum said Tuesday.
Boudreaux is a research associate and assistant director at the Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine lab at the School of Veterinary Medicine, according to the lab’s website.
Boudreaux, who was placed on leave Monday, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Lum, 25, an animal science doctoral student, began working at the lab to conduct her research in March 2008, she said.
Lum said she and Boudreaux began a friendly relationship in September 2009, and started dating in March 2010.
Lum said she then learned Boudreaux had a live-in girlfriend and tried to end the relationship. That’s when the threats began, she said.
In a petition for a temporary restraining order filed Monday, Lum said Boudreaux coerced her into a three-way relationship with him and the other woman, saying he would get her fired if she refused.
Lum said the other woman was also an employee of the lab whose job was threatened if she did not comply.
Boudreaux repeatedly said he would sabotage Lum’s research at the lab — which she had worked on for four years and needed to receive her doctorate degree — if she left, she said.
During the six-month relationship, Boudreaux pushed Lum down his steps, threatened her with a baseball bat and he would “spit on her and blow his nose on her,” according to the petition.
Lum said she tried to leave Boudreaux at least five times, but each time he would continuously harass her and threaten her at work, at her home and through text messages until she agreed to move back in with him and the other woman.
Lum finally left Boudreaux in September 2010, she said.
Boudreaux went to Lum’s research advisers claiming that she was unstable and unfit to continue doing research in the lab, but her advisers did not believe the claims, she said.
Both continued working at the lab, Lum said.
The issue resurfaced last week when someone sent an anonymous email to dozens of people at LSU that called Boudreaux abusive, citing the details of Lum’s relationship, she said.
The anonymous sender then called Lum’s current boyfriend, asking him to persuade Lum to tell her story to LSU officials, Lum said.
Lum said she was “tired of being fearful at work” and filed a sexual harassment claim with LSU last week.
Lum said she discovered her apartment had been broken into and ransacked on Friday and her laptop and journal were taken. The items contained evidence against Boudreaux, Lum said.
A kitchen knife was stabbed into the living room wall and an expletive was written under it, as well as on her bathroom mirror, according to a Baton Rouge police report.
Police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said the burglary and vandalism are under investigation, but there is no evidence that Boudreaux is the culprit.
A DNA sample was taken from the knife, but the results are not ready, McKneely said.
LSU spokeswoman Kristine Calongne said Boudreaux, who has worked at LSU since 2000, was placed on paid administrative leave Monday pending an investigation by the university.
Calongne said personnel from human resources and Boudreaux’s department are looking into the allegations. LSU Police could become involved as the investigation develops, she said.
The temporary restraining order against Boudreaux was granted Monday and is effective until Oct. 26, East Baton Rouge Parish clerk of court records show.