Lubos Motl has a rant about this.
I do not know the details, but this seems weak:
This summer, in response to a formal complaint by four former students, the University of California concluded that Dr. Marcy had violated its policies on sexual harassment. The violations, spanning 2001 to 2010, ...Under Obama administration policy, this means only that there is a 51% or better chance that Marcy did something to cause offense.
His colleagues were ganging up on him, such as this letter complaining about NY Times coverage:
This article downplays Marcy's criminal behaviors and the profound damage that he has caused to countless individuals. It overlooks the continued trauma that Marcy inflicts to this day as a Berkeley professor, and it implicitly condones his predatory acts.What? As far as I can see, there is no criminal complaint, and no complaint at all about behavior in the last 5 years. If someone does have a criminal complaint, then the appropriate place to complain is to the police, and then grand jury, district attorney, and court. Marcy would have a chance to defend himself like any other defendant.
No, this is just a witch hunt. Apparently some people don't like Marcy because he grabs too much credit for alien planets, or leftist feminists want to make a statement about bringing down a big shot. I don't know.
What were all those complainers doing in 2001-2010 when the behavior was supposedly happened? Apparently they all thought it was just fine back then.
We have statutes of limitations for good reasons. Is is no longer practical or reasonable to draw judgments about possibly rude behavior ten years ago.
The NY Times draws this comparison:
Dr. Marcy’s troubles come at a time when sexism and sexual harassment are gaining prominence in science. Last December, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology cut ties with Walter Lewin, a popular lecturer, and deleted his physics course materials from its website after finding that he had sexually harassed at least one student.No, Lewin was not accused of harassing any MIT students or anyone else within 1000 miles of him. The complaint was from an over-30 woman on the other side of the world who watched a couple of his YouTube videos.
Some people are also comparing to Tim Hunt, who lost his job over a false accusation about a public telling of a sexist joke.
Update: Lumo posts a 2nd rant.