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U of Iowa athletics official resigns amid sex scandal

  • Associated Press
  • November 11, 2012 - 1:24 PM

IOWA CITY, IOWA -- A University of Iowa athletics department official who resigned this week had been accused of trading football tickets and money for sexual favors and inappropriately touching student athletes, according to an internal investigation.

A six-page document outlining the university's findings was obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen and posted Friday night on its website. It said Peter Gray had a history of inappropriate behavior during two stints at the department.

Gray resigned Monday from his post as the associate director of Athletic Student Services and director of academic advising and counseling.

The investigation by the school's human resources and employment offices turned up a long list of apparent sexual harassment violations by Gray, whose duties this semester included one-on-one counseling to members of the women's basketball, men's golf and men's and women's swimming teams. Gray's salary was $71,297.

UI Athletics Director Gary Barta told the Press-Citizen Wednesday Gray resigned because of "personal reasons." On Friday night, athletics department spokesman Steve Roe told the Associated Press neither he nor anyone else in the department would comment because it was a personnel issue.

The newspaper reported it couldn't find a listed phone number for Gray, and no one answered the door Friday at an address listed under his name. The AP also couldn't find his phone number.

Gray worked at the department from 1993 to 1995 and again from 2002 until Monday. Inappropriate behavior was observed during his initial employment in the 1990s and persisted through this fall, the document said.

Investigators said Gray's behavior included sexual comments made during a presentation to recruits and their parents, and touching a student's genitals.

Investigators also found sexually explicit and suggestive photos on his work computer, including two that involved individuals engaged in sex acts with toys or stuffed animals, numerous pictures of college-aged individuals posing in swimsuits and a few of individuals dressed in underwear, the document states.

Gray admitted he had a photograph of male swim team members posing in their swimsuits as a screen saver on his work computer, the document states. Gray's supervisor also said he saw an inappropriate photo on Gray's Facebook page and asked him to remove it.

One unnamed student told investigators Gray exchanged money and football tickets for sexual favors with another person not affiliated with the university.

Investigators reviewed text messages, emails and photographs as part of their inquiry, the report states. They found Gray received three nude photographs during the 2011 season from the individual to whom he allegedly gave the tickets and money, according to the documents. Gray denied the money or tickets were in exchange for sexual favors.

One unnamed student also told investigators Gray touched his or her genital area on one occasion, in addition to other inappropriate touching, and Gray had offered to perform oral sex.

"Dr. Gray admitted he made the sexually explicit comments, including the offer of oral sex, but he could not remember to whom he made the statements, when, or how often," the report states.

Investigators said in the report most people they interviewed who worked in the Department of Athletics Student Service and Compliance were concerned about Gray's behavior with student-athletes. Co-workers and former employees said they repeatedly witnessed Gray hugging, patting and rubbing the shoulders and hair of student-athletes that was unsolicited and in a manner that was not casual or professional.

"The touching was described as overly friendly, prolonged in nature and generally inappropriate for a professional in an academic advising or work setting," the report said.

 

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