Gordon Blackstock – Daily Record Aug 11, 2019
A victim of a depraved professor has criticised university bosses for “whitewashing” an internal investigation that allowed the lecturer to carry on offending.
Fraser Blevins, who has bravely waived his right to anonymity, is one of at least eight victims of disgraced Kevin O’Gorman.
The 45-year-old lecturer was found guilty last week of abusing young male students in a groundbreaking #MeToo case.
It has since been revealed Strathclyde University chiefs carried out a probe into O’Gorman’s behaviour in 2011 following a complaint by another student’s parents.
But he was allowed to move to Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, where he took up a promoted post, during the investigation.
Strathclyde University even paid him an undisclosed five-figure “golden goodbye” and gave him a glowing reference as he made the move.
Married dad-of-two Fraser, now 32, said: “Strathclyde Uni management were aware of what he was like. He was notorious with all students.
“It makes me sick to think Strathclyde shifted him to another uni and paid him off.
“Its internal investigation must have been a whitewash.
“If they had sacked him like they should have, he would have been stopped there and then and wouldn’t have gone on to hurt other students.”
O’Gorman was convicted of abusing eight male students but Fraser fears there could be more victims.
During the trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, Fraser told how O’Gorman visited his flat and whipped him with his belt on the understanding he would help him get back into Strathclyde University after dropping out.
He said: “It was like an out-of-body experience. After it happened, I buried the whole thing deep down.
“It’s very hard to explain. It would never happen to me now. I’d kill him or anyone who tried it.
“I just kept thinking, ‘If I do this he’s going to help me’. I heard him taking off his belt and then he
started hitting me.
“I couldn’t believe it was happening.
“He struck me at least 10 times and it was really painful.
“It seemed to go on for ages.
“After he stopped, he was really out of breath.
“He said I would feel good now and he’d had it done to himself before.
“After a few minutes, he left and I was left feeling really confused and had bad bruises.”
Fraser added: “I just buried what happened deep down.
“For years, I felt like an idiot and ashamed of myself.
“But I was a lot younger and easily manipulated.
“I wanted to get back into university so as not to disappoint my parents and get my life on track. He exploited that vulnerability.”
Fraser first met O’Gorman when he enrolled at Strathclyde University in 2004.
O’Gorman was doing his doctorate at the time and lectured hospitality management students.
Glasgow-based Fraser said: “He would have been about 30 then but looked a lot older. I was just out of school and 17.
“He was balding and dressed like an academic but he was pretty popular with the students.
“O’Gorman seemed a good guy, open to chatting, and was quite eccentric – he wasn’t your usual stuffy
Fraser found the course tough going and decided to leave at the end of his first year, despite O’Gorman trying to persuade him to stay.
After moving to South Africa, where his parents lived, he was given the opportunity to restart his studies and rejoined the course in 2006.
Fraser said: “Kevin was different.
“We became much closer and he mentored me. However, he was a lot more tactile.
“There was touching when you got close to him in classes.
“It was really creepy – everyone thought so. He was definitely overstepping the mark.
“But it wasn’t just me. Other students talked about it too.
“No one really thought it was sexual behaviour or he was being a predator. We actually all sort of dismissed him as asexual.
“He was pretty active online and added me on a social media site.”
Fraser decided to leave the course again, this time in his second year.
He said: “Looking back, I was struggling with some mental health issues and probably wasn’t mature enough to cope with it all.
“I’d just started second year but then thought the course wasn’t for me.
“My parents were in South Africa and I didn’t have any real emotional support in Scotland – apart from Kevin.
QC will look into case of O’Gorman
We asked Strathclyde University a number of detailed questions about the O’Gorman case.
They didn’t answer them individually but instead said a review would be launched.