The University of Pennsylvania and former professor Tracy McIntosh - once considered one of the preeminent researchers into brain injuries - have reached confidential settlements with the Penn graduate student McIntosh pleaded no contest to sexually assaulting in 2002.
The settlements, noted in case records filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, avoid what likely would have been an embarrassing nonjury trial that had been scheduled for November but was delayed while the parties negotiated.
Court documents say the trial would have examined McIntosh's extramarital relationships with other graduate students and employees at his Penn lab and whether university officials ignored complaints about his conduct because of McIntosh's international reputation and record of obtaining lucrative research grants.
But the trial also would have been an ordeal for the young woman - a niece of McIntosh's friend and college roommate - who missed a year of school and has undergone continuing therapy since the assault. She still attends Penn.
Court documents gave no details about Penn's settlement with the victim. The settlement with McIntosh, however, included entry of a $500,000 judgment against the former professor "pursuant to and subject to a separate confidential agreement." McIntosh's settlement was filed last week.
Legally, the judgment does not mean McIntosh paid any money to the victim. But it does give the victim leverage with which to compel McIntosh's compliance with the confidential settlement's terms.
Penn spokeswoman Phyllis Holtzman declined to comment, saying the "matter had been resolved confidentially."
McIntosh's attorney, Nancy C. DeMis, declined to comment.
Robert L. Sachs, attorney for the victim, said the settlement prohibits him, his client or her family from speaking further about the case.
Though the settlement resolves the civil litigation, McIntosh's legal problems continue.
On Nov. 6, a state Superior Court panel vacated McIntosh's sentence of house arrest and probation, ruling that the sentencing judge, Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford A. Means, was too lenient, treating the professor "less as a criminal than as a school boy requiring direction and supervision."
The state appeals court ordered McIntosh resentenced by a different judge, which means McIntosh could face 24 to 36 months in prison, the minimum term recommended under state sentencing guidelines on his no-contest plea to sexual assault.
McIntosh has filed an appeal of the resentencing order to the state Supreme Court.
McIntosh, 53, of Media, was charged in a Sept. 2, 2002 incident involving a 23-year-old Penn graduate student whose uncle had asked his old friend to show her around the Penn campus before she started school.
Court documents say the tour turned into a series of visits to and heavy drinking at University City restaurants and bars. The night ended, the woman alleged, with her unconscious and raped by McIntosh in his Penn office.
Means sentenced McIntosh to 111/2 to 23 months of house arrest and 12 years' probation, and ordered him to pay $40,000 in fines and restitution to the victim.
The sentence - the judge credited the societal importance of McIntosh's research into treating brain injuries - angered the victim and her family and drew heavy protests from women's and victims' rights advocates.
The public furor was reignited last January, when prosecutors learned that Means let McIntosh fly to Italy for a six-month research appointment at a Milan medical facility.
The publicity led the Milan institution to revoke the appointment; McIntosh returned to Philadelphia last February after only a few days abroad.
Meanwhile, District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham, whose office asked Means to impose a 51/2- to 11-year prison term, had appealed the sentence, resulting in the Superior Court resentencing order.