Dixie professor fired for assault will fight to prove his innocence

(KUTV) A tenured Dixie State University professor is being charged by the St. George City Attorney for allegedly assaulting one of his female theatre students during a lesson in November of 2014.Varlo Davenport, 52, was fired two months ago from the university and now he’s speaking out to 2News.Davenport says he’s more confused than angry about his termination from Dixie State and there’s more to the story that people need to know.“I’m not guiltyso we’re going to fight it,” said Davenport.He’s fighting charges that claim he assaulted one of his theatre students last year in November during a lesson.According to court documents, Davenport pulled on the female student’s hair while trying to “Get her angry” and create emotion for a scene.{}“There are six witnesses. five of whom have already testified under oath and another one is perfectly willing to, who have said what was alleged to have happened, didn’t happen,” said Davenport. Davenport said in theatre, the goal is to help students move beyond their everyday self and the things we put on the outside, so a number of techniques are used to bring out emotion. But, Davenport says, assault is not one of them.“We were just doing the normal things you do in an acting classroom.”Since the incident, the tenured professor was fired in February from his position at the University and is now being charged with assault a class B misdemeanor by the St. George City Attorney.Dixie state gave this statement on the matter:"Dixie State University regrets that an alleged assault of a student took place on campus and in a classroom setting. The University administration took this incident very seriously and strongly believes the decision to terminate Professor Davenport was the correct decision. Out of respect for the ongoing investigation and pending criminal charges, Dixie State University declines further comment at this time. Any additional inquiries should be made to the St. George City Attorneys Office or the [student] family's legal counsel.”Davenport says he’s working side jobs and still loves the University as much as he did when he started.“This is my reputation. This is my career. This is having to look at my family in the eyes and sayI didn’t do this,” said Davenport.

_________Copyright 2015 Sinclair Broadcast Group

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