Arizona State University officials say a legal claim against a sports sponsor who allegedly molested three women married to members of the sports department "could have been resolved in a faster period of time".
In a statement released to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, ASU said an external investigation found that Booster Bart Wear had exposed the three women to "unwanted comments and physical contact". The booster's season tickets have since been canceled and he is no longer welcome at university events.
In an 11-page legal claim filed in Arizona this week, several Arizona state officials have reportedly waited nearly five months to investigate three assault charges by the sports department regarding "assault and sexual harassment." ASU's head basketball coach Bobby Hurley's wife, Leslie, was one of three women who said the booster acted “inappropriately” towards her.
Former ASU Senior Associate Athletic Director David Cohen, who was removed from his position in August before being officially fired in December, filed the lawsuit with several government agencies.
In the release, a precursor to the lawsuit, Cohen said he lost his job because he urged sports director Ray Anderson and other ASU officials to investigate the allegations made by the three women, including his wife.
Cohen is now looking for $ 1.5 million to pay for lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional damage.
The damage report describes a meeting between Cohen's wife Kathy and Wear at a Pac-12 basketball game in March. Kathy left her seat in the T-Mobile Arena to use the toilet at half-time, and when he tried to walk through Wear in the hallway, he allegedly “put his hands on her waist and moved his hands over the side of her body the side of her chest, holding his hands on the sides of her breasts and saying: & # 39; Dave is lucky to have you. & # 39; "
The school's statement said the independent investigation by Wear, a former ASU soccer player, "did not reveal that the donor grabbed or sexually assaulted someone." However, Wear received a letter from a school official on December 10, revoking his tickets and confirming the evidence that confirmed Kathy Cohen's story.
When Yahoo Sports asked about the two statements, ASU claimed that Cohen "changed his story in August 2019 about the nature of the allegations and said Mr. Wear grabbed a victim's chest". The school said its investigation "found it wrong".
Michael Perez, Cohen's lawyer, called it a "semantic game" and said it was "an absolute invention" that Cohen changed his story.
"It doesn't matter whether Wear touched, felt, touched or felt," Perez told Yahoo Sports. "They had a dominant man pushing a female victim and ASU is trying to defend the actions as if they were somehow appropriate."
Leslie Hurley admitted through her lawyer Barry Mitchell that she was one of the people named in the lawsuit notice. In the notice, Leslie explained how she told the other two women how Wear "came up to them frequently during ASU games" and "inappropriately put his hand on her leg while she was talking to her".
It got to the point where Leslie allegedly "would ask other people sitting with her to stand in front of her when Mr. Wear approached to prevent him from touching her".
The defense claims that several officials from the sports department and one regent member knew about the allegations. These sports officials included Anderson, who went on a golf trip with Wear about six weeks after hearing the allegations, "using Mr. Wear's private plane service."
Several attempts by Yahoo Sports to contact Wear for comment have been unsuccessful.