WSU Report: Gesser violated university’s sexual harassment policy
PULLMAN, Wash — Former Washington State University quarterback and employee Jason Gesser violated the university’s sexual harassment policy in his treatment of a young woman who worked for a time as his family’s nanny. That’s according to a report completed by the university.
The Office for Equal Opportunity began its investigation into the matter in September, when a woman named Alyssa Bodeau came forward.
Gesser ultimately resigned from his position as assistant athletic director, but the university’s investigation continued.
He has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. In his resignation letter he said, “To the young woman that I made feel uncomfortable, I respectfully have a different recollection of the situation you’ve described, but acknowledge that I should never have been in the situation in the first place, and I apologize. I truly never meant to cause you harm.”
The report says that Gesser invited Bodeau to a Cougar Athletic Fund event in 2015, after she graduated from WSU and was no longer working as the family’s nanny. Bodeau said he invited her to a bar afterwards and “tried on multiple occasions to put his hand on her leg, which was unwanted.”
After everyone left, Bodeau said Gesser sent her a text message and wanted to hang out, so she picked him up at his hotel. She said while she was driving, he continued to put his hand on her leg and leaned over to try and kiss her. She said she refused his advances and reminded him she was married, but said that he kept trying and also reached his hands under her dress.
She said the next morning, he sent her a text message “telling her something like, ‘it would be better if we don’t tell my wife about this.'”
The OEO conducted an investigation, finding that Gesser did violate the university’s policy “when he subjected the complainant to nonconsensual sexual harassment and contact.”
The report says investigators interviewed Bodeau, her current husband who was her friend at the time of the incident, a friend who was her roommate at the time and her sister.
According to the report, “Investigators also attempted to interview [Gesser] and Mr. William “Bill” Moos, who was present at the CAF event and who met with [Bodeau] and [Gesser] afterwards for drinks.”
Gesser declined to participate in the investigation and Moos did not respond to the interview request.
The report says Gesser resigned the day after being notified of this investigation.
The report says Bodeau reached out to friends after the incident and was distraught. She says she chose to distance herself and blocked Gesser from her phone. When she received a new phone, she got a message from him and said it caused her to “relive that whole night.” She said she felt “shock, fear and confusion.”
She told her then-boyfriend about what happened and was distraught. She said she was “afraid… to tell anybody because she was still close to the family.”
She said she didn’t want to attend WSU football games or CAF events because she didn’t want to be put in an uncomfortable situation.
Bodeau said she decided to come forward after reading about other sexual misconduct allegations against Gesser, which came to light in the WSU student newspaper. She said “she did not want [Gesser] to subject anyone else to harassment or misconduct.”
After reaching its decision that Gesser violated university policy, the investigators recommended that human resources and Gesser’s former supervisors should review the report and determine if Gesser violated any other WSU policies.
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