March 21, 2019 / 6:24 PM / a month ago

Woman accuses Cal football players, staff of sexual harassment

The University of California at Berkeley released a statement saying that it has referred an allegation of sexual harassment made by a former intern to its own watchdog office.

The university on Wednesday said it has referred allegations made by former sports medicine intern Paige Cornelius to its Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

“We are aware of the very disturbing public allegations made on social media,” Cal’s statement read, per multiple reports. “Allegations of sexual violence and sexual harassment by campus employees are confidential unless officials determine policy is violated, and disciplinary action has been decided.”

Cornelius wrote in a Facebook published Wednesday that she had “medically withdrawn from school, seeking intensive therapy and psychiatry for the post traumatic stress syndrome and anxiety that happened from the time I spent working for the Cal Football team.”

She told ESPN in a phone interview that last fall she notified Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton and football coach Justin Wilcox, among others, about her claims but did not receive a response.

Among Cornelius’ allegations is that a former volunteer assistant threatened to get her fired if she did not have sex with him. ESPN reported that the assistant is no longer with Cal’s football program.

She also alleged on Facebook that a “coach (who) is still employed by Cal Football” followed her home and suggested they go swimming because she would “look amazing in a bikini.”

“Campus prevention and response efforts have increased in recent years,” Cal said in its statement. “All university staff and all students are required to complete sexual harassment and sexual violence prevention training. In addition, the athletic department sponsors supplementary formal training for coaches, staff and student-athletes in sexual violence awareness and prevention, bystander intervention, and campus reporting procedures.”

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