Mar 27, 2015 4:35 PM
Review of campus sexual misconduct policies in NH finds gaps
MANCHESTER - Officials released a lengthy report into four separate incidents of misconduct involving employees at UNH and Keene State College on Friday.
The University System of New Hampshire said in each case the employee was terminated.
The details of each investigation and how these incidents were able to happen on local campuses revealed today.
"It became clear that there is a need for culture change and a vastly improved system of reporting and acting," said Keene State College President Dr. Anne Huot.
Huot said she provided an open door to investigators that could give a third-party view into several incidents of sexual misconduct among KSC employees.
Three separate incidents, all found to have been mishandled under the colleges sexual harassment allegation reporting procedures.
Gino vallante was fired after 10 years of working closely with the men's basketball team and as a student advisor.
He made "explicit comments to students and basketball players," said Attorney Michael Delaney, the lead investigator on the report. "He did so during late night phone calls through texting and the use of social media."
Similar issues with students at his former employer, New England College, were not disclosed when Vallente was hired.
Reports from alumni, current students, and an investigation ultimately led to his termination last year.
Former longtime head softball coach Charles Beach is accused of
inappropriately touching a player, but the matter did not rise to the level of sexual harassment under the law.
Investigators said Beach had been told in the past not to touch students.
A mother's complaint that he put his arm around her daughter's waist and pulled her close reopened his investigation. Beach was let go last summer.
Former track coach Peter Thomas, who led the team for more than 30 years is no longer employed at KSC.
Thomas is accused of making "unwelcome and uncomfortable leg massages, inappropriate inquiries into students' sexual lives and sexual activity and examples of boundary crossing behavior such as positioning himself clothed but underneath the bedsheets of female students in hotel rooms," Delaney said.
Before the thorough investigation concluded, Huot said she had begun taking action.
"We will be reorganizing the athletic department to a program that's more transparent, accountable and structured," Huot said.