Yaron Eliav, an associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, has been accused of soliciting sexual acts from a University Law School student after meeting her online at Craigslist, according to court documents and an article in a local newspaper.

Originally charged with prostitution/accosting and solicitation, Eliav has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of using a computer to commit a crime, and awaits sentencing on Dec. 30.

The 22-year-old student told the Ann Arbor Police that she was advertising sexual acts online to help pay her tuition costs for law school, according to a report in The Ann Arbor News last week.

She said she didn’t have intercourse with Eliav but he paid her $300 for other sexual acts, the article said. The student told police that she allowed Eliav to strike her buttocks with a belt, and after she got upset he slapped her twice in the face, according to the News.

The student, who was also charged with using a computer to commit a crime, pleaded no contest. If convicted, both Eliav and the student could face up to a year in jail.

Most officials and professors contacted in the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Law School directed all questions on the matter to University spokeswoman Kelly Cunningham.

Cunningham said the University is currently investigating the issue but that she couldn’t comment further on the issue.

Alexander Knysh, professor of Islamic Studies and a colleague of Eliav, said in e-mail how surprised he was after hearing the allegations against Eliav.

“This news hit me like a ton of bricks,” Knysh said. “Naturally, I am shocked and devastated by the news and am now trying to come to grips with this regrettable affair.”

Eliav’s attorney, Doug Mullkoff, declined comment.

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