William & Mary professor arrested again over harassing emails

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WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A William & Mary professor has been arrested and charged for the second time in one year for harassing a colleague with obscene emails, WTKR reported.

David Dessler has been with the historic college for more than 32 years. And his bio, still active on the school's website, is full of accolades, including when he received the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award in 1991.

David Dessler

David Dessler

A student, who spoke with WTKR on the condition of anonymity, said Dessler's achievements are well known on campus. So the news of what Dessler is accused of doing came as a surprise.

"I had only ever heard positive things about him. I had never heard a bad thing about him," the student said.

David Dessler's bio on College of William & Mary website.

David Dessler's bio on College of William & Mary website.

However, the professor of government is accused of sending an email to a former department chairman littered with obscenities and threatening language.

According to court documents Dessler was arrested for sending John McGlennon an email using profanity and threatening him around this time last year.

Then on Jan. 13 of this year, Dessler was arrested again for sending dozens of emails berating college officials. And in one email, Dessler told a story about someone being "strung up and strangled by the neck."

A college spokeswoman said Dessler has not been in the classroom since Oct. 2015 and even though he is tenured, his current status with the college is inactive. That said his bio remains on the college's website.

The student who spoke to WTKR's Kim Cung said the lack of information from college officials frustrated him.

"I was very upset about it and the fact that there was little to no communication about something that was going on within the department I study in," the student said.

Some students defended Dessler and he suffers from mental illness.

"It was pretty upsetting to know this long-employed professor over one incident was now not allowed to be on campus, not allowed to communicate with students," the student said.

David Dessler has been arrested and charged for the second time in one year for allegedly harassing a colleague with obscene emails.

David Dessler has been arrested and charged for the second time in one year for allegedly harassing a colleague with obscene emails.

Dessler, who is out on bond, is scheduled to go on trial on April 13.