In March, the university learned that the State Medical Board of Ohio had revoked the therapist’s license. The therapist allegedly “behaved inappropriately and abusively” towards team members. The state of Ohio has hired the Barnes & Thornburg law firm to investigate.
The university “shared the exploitative behavior with the NCAA, and a report was made to the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office.” In addition, the state of Ohio released the report and associated public records on Thursday.According to Barnes & Thornburg, the medical board’s investigation began when a complaint was filed on March 14, 2020. It alleged “that a licensed massage therapist was providing free therapeutic massages to members of the football team at the Ohio State University, using these. massages as a way to initiate sexual interactions with some of the student football athletes and then demand payment. ”
However, the council’s investigation was delayed for a year until a medical council investigator communicated the complaint to the Ohio State University Police Division on March 4. The Barnes & Thornburg investigation found that “the massage therapist was offering massages to OSU student football athletes via social media under the guise of having a legitimate massage therapy business, but in an effort to hire student athletes. of OSU football in sexual encounters ”. They interviewed 117 current and former OSU football players as well as 44 current and former staff and coaches.
According to the Barnes & Thornburg report, the massage therapist used two methods to attempt to initiate sex.
“Firstly she would try to isolate the student soccer athlete to put her in a vulnerable position and then attempt to engage in sex or in the second she would send overtly sexual messages and see if she could engage their interest in a sexual encounter. “
The incidents occurred from 2018 to 2021, mostly in off-campus housing or hotels. Barnes & Thornburg concluded that the incidents did not violate any university policy and were not criminal. Additionally, there is no NCAA implication regarding the massage therapist’s interactions with players.
The investigation revealed that 34 football players knew the massage therapist. Within this group, nine interacted with her via social media or knew her from other football players, 20 players received only massages and five footballers said in interviews that “they were engaged in sexual activities with the massage therapist ”.The ages of the players ranged from 18 to 20 at the start of sexual encounters. However, current and former football players interviewed said that “the sexual activities that took place were consensual”.
In addition, the players stated that “while [the touching] was unwanted, she stopped the inappropriate contact when the student football athletes clashed. “
“I am grateful that our student-athletes, coaches and staff were honest, forthright and open during the investigation,” Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith told WBNS. the opportunity to operate without distraction and to be able to operate with integrity. ”