Professor’s bathroom scandal surprises members of the accounting department
When Julian Papadopulos heard rumors in December that another student found a hidden camera in the tissue box of an associate professor’s home bathroom, he was “completely mind-blown.”
“He was probably one of the most popular professors in the accounting department,” said Papadopulos, who graduated with a degree in accounting from SF State in 2012. “If not the most popular.”
Months after Papadopulos heard about the allegations, police arrested associate professor Mark Landis on 15 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy for allegedly recording students in the restroom during parties he hosted at his Castro home.
Landis worked as an associate professor of accounting at SF State from 2006 before a leave of absence in November 2013, and his eventual resignation in July after the allegations were brought to the university’s attention, according to Ellen Griffin, a spokesperson for SF State.
“I got drunk with him once. Not at his house, so obviously he didn’t get any videos of me,” said Papadopulos, who added that the students he knew who went to Landis’ parties were not concurrently enrolled in Landis’ courses.
The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department (SFSD) released Landis from county jail one day after his arrest, July 24, on $100,000 bail, according to Enrique Luquin, senior deputy at SFSD.
On July 29, Thanh Ngo, attorney for Landis, entered a not guilty plea to all 15 charges against the former associate professor.
“These are only allegations,” Ngo said outside the courtroom, adding that he was disappointed with how long it took the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office to present the case.
Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office who was also outside the courtroom, said that forensic analysis and identifying victims were two components that took the district attorney’s office a long time to process.
Assistant District Attorney Laura Carwile submitted a protective order in court to prevent Landis, 38, from contacting victims in the case. Carwile also mentioned the possibility of there being more victims who have not come forward.
“You’re a professor kind of abusing the trust of victims,” said Bastian. “And the victims being students, it really puts the case in a different light.”
Landis is scheduled to appear before the court Sept. 9 at 9 a.m.