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State Prosecutors Investigate Penn State Handling of Nate Parker Sexual Misconduct Allegations

by on October 28, 2016 2:54 PM

State investigators are looking into how university officials handled allegations of sexual misconduct against former Penn State wrestler Nate Parker, according to the New York Times. The investigation by the Office of the Attorney General coincides with the prosecution of former university president Graham Spanier, former athletic director Tim Curley, and former vice president Gary Schultz.

Parker, along with his roommate and teammate Jean Celestin, were accused of raping a fellow student in 1999. Parker was found not guilty on the four charges brought against him. His accuser committed suicide in 2012. The incident resurfaced earlier this year when Parker and Celestin were promoting their film The Birth Of A Nation.

Celestin was convicted, but the verdict was overturned after Superior Court ruled he received ineffective counsel.

Parker was suspended from the wrestling team after being charged with rape, but was reinstated in the fall of 2000 while he was facing trial. According to the New York Times, within weeks of returning to the team, a female student trainer said that Parker exposed himself to her. She decided against filing a report with the police “despite the urging of the university” the New York Times wrote.

According to the New York Times, the student trainer said that she was giving Parker a routine back treatment when Parker turned around and said that he wanted to show her something. Parker then allegedly pulled his pants down and exposed the top half of his penis. After reporting the alleged incident to the team’s assistant athletic trainer, the student trainer met with Curley who encouraged her to report the incident to the police. She decided not to report the incident because she “she feared the impact that such a move might have on her college experience” the New York Times wrote.

Prosecutors are investigating to determine if the handling of this allegation “suggests a broader pattern of inaction by the athletic department when it came to complaints of sexual misconduct ” said two law enforcement officials to the New York Times. The law enforcement officials were briefed on the investigation but are not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Curley’s attorney declined to comment because it is illegal to provide information about former students.

Parker denies the alleged exposure incident happened. “This is the first Mr. Parker has ever heard of this… He recognizes the seriousness of the issue, but this claim is completely untrue.” Parker’s lawyer told the New York Times.

Parker was kicked off the wrestling team in February of 2001 for violation of team rules. He transferred to Oklahoma, where he left the team after head butting an opponent. He graduated from Oklahoma in 2003.


Alex Bauer is an Onward State staff member.
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