Reader discretion advised: This story contains multiple mentions of sexual assault and abuse according to allegations in the court case document.
In this article, The Nevada Sagebrush continues the investigation into the sexual assault allegations and gathers details of the alleged timeline of Jiang and Fan’s academic relationship. All information in this article and the previous article is alleged, only sourced from court documents contained in all of the lawsuits filed by Fan in relation to this situation.
The case filed by Feifei Fan, a mechanical engineering professor, has sent shockwaves through the campus community, however recent investigations have revealed Fan filed a case against Yanyao Jiang, a mechanical engineering professor and Wei Wu, Jiang’s wife, in 2021 along similar claims of harassment.
As previously reported, Fan filed the current lawsuit against the Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Nevada, Reno in December 2022, alleging Jiang is a “serial sexual predator and violent rapist.” But, the lawsuit against Jiang and UNR’s behavior goes back further.
On Oct. 25, 2021, Fan filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada against Jiang and his wife Wei Wu for alleged “sex trafficking under federal and state law, forced labor under federal law, trafficking into servitude under federal and state law, intentional infliction of emotional distress under state law, and defamation under state law.”
Jiang and Wu both moved for dismissal of the complaint because of the failure to state a claim, which is specifically under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
In this case against Jiang, Fan alleges that Jiang raped, sexually abused and emotionally abused her during her master’s studies. He allegedly used his position of power to do this. Wu, Jiang’s wife, is included in the lawsuit as well under claims of harassment towards Fan.
The document reported that Jiang allegedly “ignored Fan’s crying during sexual intercourse.” Fan also allegedly contracted chlamydia in 2007 from Jiang, but she claimed she did not provide Jiang’s identity to the health clinic out of fear that she would expose the abuse.
When Fan left the University in 2008, she alleged that Jiang still initiated and insisted on “cyber” or online sexual relations.
The complaint stated that Fan left Reno when she graduated to go study in Georgia. The document said this meant Fan “was no longer receiving wages for her work.” The court concluded that Jiang no longer had any influence over Fan’s academic career while she was studying in Georgia because she did not receive value for education from the University.
According to the document, Fan did not try to explain why she chose to return to the University. The court wrote that they believed Fan’s omission of an explanation is telling.
“After receiving her doctorate in Georgia, she decided to return to work under Jiang at UNR, even though she alleges that he had essentially held her immigration status hostage some years earlier,” the analysis in the document says. “While the Court must take the allegations as true, the facts of this case make Fan’s claims questionable.”
Jiang was allegedly assigned as Fan’s mentor and tenure committee supervisor, allegedly putting him in a position of power over her again. The sexual abuse allegedly continued until Fan claimed she approached Jiang and threatened to report the abuse in 2019.
Fan received permanent residency and decided to inform Wu of Jiang’s abuse to which Jiang allegedly responded with a threat of physical harm after Fan sent Wu a text message informing her of Jiang’s alleged abuse.
However, Jiang claimed the entire sexual relationship was consensual.
In May 2020, Wu allegedly confronted Fan by “outrageously” knocking at the door of her apartment. Fan allegedly feared Wu would physically harm her, so she did not answer the door and threatened to call 9-1-1. Wu left Fan’s apartment building.
According to the court document, allegedly “‘Jiang notified Fan over the phone that Wu hated Fan … that Fan needed to protect herself from physical harm … [that] Wu wanted to sue Fan for sexual bribery … [and that] Wu would notify [the] [t]enure [c]ommittee.’”
In July 2020, Jiang and Fan allegedly met at a park to discuss the situation. During the meeting, Jiang allegedly continued to threaten Fan. In August 2020, Jiang allegedly scolded Fan for the situation outside of her office and threatened to end her life.
On Jan. 29, 2021, Fan filed a Title IX complaint against Jiang with the University, according to the document. Jiang filed a request for a protective order against Fan shortly after and alleged that Fan vandalized his office. Jiang allegedly claimed Fan was mentally unstable and she allegedly purchased a gun with “nefarious intent.”
The protective order was not granted, but Fan alleges the process damaged her “professional reputation, employment opportunities, and psychological condition.”
According to the order, “a plaintiff must plead facts pertaining to [their] own case, making a [potential] violation ‘plausible,’ not just ‘possible.’”
The analysis in the court order said that Jiang’s alleged assault and misconduct “while morally reprehensible” does not meet the specifics for the defined legal standard for forced labor and sex trafficking.
“Fan’s federal causes of action are improper, leaving purely state law claims. For that reason, the Court will dismiss the action against Jiang for failure to state a claim and lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” the document wrote.
On Aug. 29, Fan’s complaint was “dismissed with prejudice” as ordered by the court, with a final document of the case summarizing the details on Sept. 9. The defendants Wu and Jiang were awarded $14,420.72, which plaintiff Fan must pay by Oct. 29.
The lawsuit was recently terminated on Sept. 9, in favor of the defendant, Jiang due to Fan’s failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).
Fan then filed an appeal against Jiang and Wu, to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 27.
The current case — Fan v. the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education on behalf of the University of Nevada, Reno — is still ongoing.
Jaedyn Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.