Report shows SJSU has not adequately investigated claims of sexual misconduct

SAN JOSE — San Jose State University and on-campus police have not adequately investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against former head athletic coach Scott Shaw, according to an investigative report released earlier this week.

The four-page report, which was commissioned in April 2021, focused on the adequacy of the university’s investigation into the 2009-2010 allegations, as well as the response to subsequent reports of Shaw’s inappropriate conduct. The report also examined police response to three police reports it supposedly received about Shaw.

Other than Shaw, the report did not specifically name anyone involved in the investigation.

According to the report, the researcher who handled the 2009-2010 study interviewed only 14 of 17 student-athletes who said they had undergone “questionable conduct by Shaw.” Many of the student-athletes also said the interviews conducted by the researcher were “conclusive and accusatory and focused not on their claims, but on the validity of Shaw’s pressure point therapy,” the report said.

“The final investigative report was deficient in the seriousness of the allegations at two pages long, focused not on the complainant or witness statements but on the validity of the pressure point therapy used by Shaw and contained little to no discussion or analysis of the allegations under the applicable standard” , the report said.

The report also noted that the results of the 2009-2019 investigation were shared with only Shaw, who was allowed to remain in his position with little to no restriction, and a single student-athlete who was listed as a complainant. The other student-athletes had to guess at the outcome of the investigation until an athletic department employee told them that the university had exonerated Shaw and determined his therapy was appropriate.

Many of the student-athletes interviewed for the report expressed “feelings of anger, frustration and regret that they had come forward only to be marginalized and ignored,” the report said. “Unsurprisingly, the student-athletes did not attempt to reapply or take additional steps to hold Shaw accountable given the instant dismissal they felt SJSU had issued them with serious complaints.”

Between 2010 and 2018, the same athletic department staff member who shared the outcome of the 2009-2010 study with the student-athletes repeatedly questioned the adequacy of the study and expressed concern about Shaw’s conduct toward and access to female student-athletes. athletes. In 2018, the employee asked the university’s Title IX office to review the investigation into a Shaw, but the request was ignored, the report said.

According to the report, additional allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced at the time of the 2009-2010 investigation, but the university did not address or investigate them.

The report also included an assessment of three police reports purportedly filed with the university’s police department — two in 2009 and one in 2013. For one filed in 2009, “under a preponderance of evidence, the police investigation and follow-up were inadequate There was insufficient evidence to determine that the other police reports had been submitted or received by the police.

The report follows a report released last year by the Justice Department that found the university failed to properly handle the allegations against Shaw for more than a decade. The university was ordered to pay $1.6 million to the victims, review its Title IX office, and contact more than 1,000 former athletes treated by Shaw.

Shaw, who voluntarily resigned in 2020, has denied the sexual misconduct allegations and pleaded not guilty to six federal civil rights charges. A trial is scheduled for June next year.

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