A 46-year-old law lecturer of a top Australian university in Melbourne has reportedly committed suicide, after it emerged he allegedly solicited and received bribes in the form of sexual favours and money from some female Asian international students for improving their marks.
Melbourne's Victoria University has been rocked by this scandal. Before police could interrogate him he is believed to have taken his life, apparently overdosing on drugs at his home at Footscray in Melbourne's inner west.
Police were preparing a brief including 10 bribery charges when they contacted the man in early May. They asked him to go to a police station and recommended he take a lawyer. Two days after the call he was found dead.
His death and the bribery allegations have shocked colleagues at the university, where he had taught for several years. The man, who is said to have been divorced, had recently suffered financial losses.
"I was shocked and bewildered," a former colleague told The Australian. "He was a great colleague."
It is believed the university uncovered the allegations in December and referred them to police. It is understood the Asian students themselves were never considered suspects in the investigation, instead being treated as victims.
The revelation comes at a sensitive time for Australia's university sector, which is already bracing for a downturn in international student demand next year following sensationalised reporting in India of assaults against Indian students.