University of California pays $ 1.6 million to students assaulted by employee

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San Jose State University has agreed to pay $ 1.6 million to 13 student-athletes whose complaints of sexual assault by a sports trainer were mistreated by the university, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The payment is part of a settlement between the university, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, which has conducted an investigation under IX who revealed that the university had failed to respond adequately to reports of sexual harassment and assault that began in 2009, exposing other student-athletes to harm for more than a decade.

Federal investigators also found that the university retaliated against two employees, including one who repeatedly alerted school officials about the trainer. The swimmers said he subjected them to repeated and unwanted sexual touching on their breasts, groin, buttocks and pubic area during treatment at campus training centers, federal prosecutors said.

“With this agreement, San Jose State University will provide support to survivors and transform its Title IX process to ensure accountability for its athletics program and create a safer campus for all of its students,” said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. Division.

University officials say they have fully cooperated with the Justice Department’s investigation and that federal prosecutors’ findings are similar to an external investigation ordered by the university in 2019 and completed earlier this year has revealed about allegations against former director of sports medicine Scott. Shaw.

The two investigations identified 23 student-athletes who were inappropriately touched by Shaw, but of these, only 13 agreed to receive $ 125,000 each, the university said.

“We thank all the people who courageously came forward during the investigations. To the concerned student-athletes and their families, we sincerely apologize, ”university officials said in a statement.

In April, Mary Papazian, president of San Jose State University, said in a campus-wide letter to students, faculty and staff that the external investigation revealed that the allegations were founded and that more recent allegations had been raised during the investigation.

Shaw resigned last year after allegations that from 2006 to 2009 he improperly touched swimmers during physical therapy resurfaced in the media. He denied the misconduct, and no criminal charges were laid against him.

Shaw’s attorney, Lori Jeanne Costanzo, did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

As part of the settlement, the university is also to implement major reforms to deal with complaints of sexual harassment, strengthen its Title IX office, train student-athletes and university employees to give and receive their consent before medical treatment, prevent retaliation and provide support to former student-athletes who have been sexually harassed by the athletic coach.

The university said it had already restructured its Title IX office, added Title IX experts on gender equality and launched a new chaperone policy that will give students and staff the right to request the attendance of ‘one third for any type of treatment in sports medicine.

The state of San Jose has said it looks forward to partnering with the Justice Department to put in place a stronger Title IX program.

“The health and safety of our university community remains our top priority,” said the university. “We will continue to learn from the past so that we never repeat it. “

Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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California teaching universities

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