Buckets of Data

May 31, 1997

Vancouver Sun, May. 31, 1997: Coach presents lurid evidence

Filed under: Marsden — bucketsdata @ 3:05 am

Jimenez, Marina, May 31, 1997. “Coach presents lurid evidence to get SFU job back.” Vancouver Sun, A1.Simon Fraser University is standing by its decision to fire swim coach Liam Donnelly for sexually harassing a swimmer—even after he released Friday provocative photos and sexually explicit e-mail she sent him.Rachel Marsden offered Donnelly sexual favors including oral sex in an e-mail to him on Oct. 12, 1995: “I would like to meet you soon for something very erotic… I suggest you relax and just let me undress you, touch you…”Donnelly said he provided the university with this information. SFU’s media relations officer Ken Mennell couldn’t confirm this, but said: “At the moment, the decision to dismiss him stands.” Mennell said Donnelly may ask an arbitration board to review his dismissal. SFU president John Stubbs fired the 29-year-old as head coach May 23, after a campus committee found him guilty of sexually harassing Marsden 22. She said Donnelly forced her to have sex during a 16-month relationship from the spring of 1994 to the fall of 1995. The arbitration board may review whether Stubbs “exercised reasonable judgment in formulating his decision”, said Mennell.Donnelly’s lawyer said her client decided to go public so his side of the story could be heard. “Liam is the victim of an obsessive woman, incomprehensible legal advice and a process so rigidly fixed in its political correctness that it condoned a gross injustice,” said Loryl Rusdell. Marsden’s lawyer Kate Hughes said Friday she couldn’t comment on the e-mail, or anything else because of SFU’s confidentiality rule in all harassment cases.Earlier in the week, Marsden said she was a victim of the date rape. “I dated him consensually, I didn’t want to sleep with him,” she said.Donnelly told Friday’s press conference, packed with dozens of former swimmers, parents, coaches, and supporters, that Marsden sexually harassed him for a period of 18 months. He released a chronology of evens, and described her behavior as increasingly “obsessive, disturbing and bizarre.”“I’ve never had any sort of intimate relationship whatsoever with Rachel Marsden or any other athlete I’ve coached,” Donnelly said. “What started off as a request from her to listen to her problems has turned into a nightmare that has now cost me my job, and may cost me my career and reputation.” He released copies of photos he says Marsden slipped under his office door. In another email, sent Oct. 13, 1995, Marsden a talented swimmer and honors student, wrote: “I think that I might be a little too untamed for you. In don’t think you’re anywhere NEAR as wild and passionate as I originally thought you were.” She repeated her offer of sexual favors and even names a location for their tryst: “at the far end of Pipeline Road at 9:30 p.m.” She adds: “Should you decline, I’ll totally understand… some situations are just too hot to handle.Marsden admitted to SFU’s harassment office she sent sexually explicit messages to Donnelly: “I did send a piece of sexually explicit e-mail to Liam but it was not my intent too harass him with this,” said Marsden’s submission, dated Dec. 2, 1995.Donnelly and Marsden met in 1990, at New Westminster’s Hyack swim club, where he was a coach and she was a swimmer. At first Marsden appeared to have a teenage crush on Donnelly, hanging around his office and talking to him.Later though, she made several complaints about his coaching style, saying that he was too demanding. Her parents hired a lawyer, took the matter to the club’s board. The club stood behind Donnelly, and at 17, Marsden and her family quit the club.In 1993, Donnelly met up with Marsden again—this time at SFU, where Donnelly had begun to coach.Marsden, on an academic scholarship, tried out for the swim team briefly, but quit after a few weeks. She began dropping by Donnelly’s office, anxious to discuss her personal problems, and to go over what had happened at Hyack, said Donnelly.He said he reluctantly agreed to the visits.“She began dropping by more and more frequently, began sending e-mail, cards and flowers and turned up at swimming practices where we’d be up at 5: 30 a.m. Swimmers and coaches remarked upon it.”She also dropped by Donnelly’s home uninvited about five times, again to discuss personal problems, he said.In the fall of 1995, after Donnelly returned from a trip to Europe, he learned Marsden had been telling the campus swimming community they were having a secret affair. At this point, he grew angry and a little worried about Marsden’s psychological stability.“I asked her to stop all contact, to stop sending gifts and e-mail,” he said.But the attention only intensified—much of it now negative.Donnelly’s girlfriend at the time said she remembered the incessant phone calls and e-mail messages.“I can remember her hanging around all the time, giving him endless gifts, balloons, flowers, stuffed teddy bears,” said Kathy Glen, who came to Friday’s press conference to support Donnelly. “Liam had a fear she would retaliate against me.”Glen received a few hang-ups on her answering machine late at night—but nothing else.The harassment, however, escalated. Donnelly said his car was once scratched with a key and another time littered with condoms. He received a forged subscription for Playboy magazine and said sexual graffiti began to appear about him around campus. A poster with his phone number surfaced, asking people to call him and “talk dirty” for an alleged project he was doing on verbal sexuality.And every day, he would receive dozens of hang-up calls.Mike Slinger, Donnelly’s assistant coach at the time, remembers the unwanted presents outside Donnelly’s office door and the inexplicable series of hang-up calls on his answering machine. Donnelly would try to avoid Marsden, and Slinger would warn him when Marsden was waiting outside his office.“It really bothered me,” said Slinger. “Her claims were hard to believe. There was never any hint Liam was in a relationship with Rachel.”Donnelly admits he can’t prove Marsden is behind many of the unsettling acts.But he was so concerned, he complained to SFU’s harassment office in the fall of 1995. He said they advised him to document the harassment and return in two weeks.At the same time, Marsden complained to the campus harassment office that he sexually assaulted her.Following the advice of his lawyer at the time, Donnelly dropped his complaint and did not participate in the hearing into Marsden’s complaint.He said his lawyer was concerned SFU’s panel lacked proper legal procedures and wasn’t run by qualified lawyers.As well, Donnelly was advised SFU did not have the legal authority to stop the harassment.Instead he went to Coquitlam RCMP and laid a complaint of harassment against Marsden. “I chose to follow my lawyer’s advice and concentrate my resources on the criminal proceedings,” he said.Marsden also went to police and complained Donnelly sexually assaulted her. No charges were laid in either case because of a lack of evidence.Thirteen months later, in 1996, following the advice of his union representative, Donnelly tried to reactivate his original complaint against Marsden. But he was told he had exceeded the six-month time limit and his request for an extension was denied.Donnelly said Friday the university still has all the documents he gave to them outlining Marsden’s behavior, the phone calls, gifts, e-mail, and photos.Donnelly and his lawyer say they won’t sue Marsden if they can convince the university to listen to his evidence.Mennell said the harassment office can’t reopen the hearing into Marsden’s complaint, or reactivate Donnelly’s.However, Donnelly hopes he can make his case to the three-member arbitration board. He said he will officially request an arbitration next week. The board’s word is final and binding. Donnelly is allowed to appoint one member to the board, the university appoints another and both sides agree on a person to chair.Donnelly said the whole experience has been devastating—his spirits buoyed only by the massive support shown by all his swimmers, many ex-swimmers, parents and several coaches.“It’s easy to jump on the coach and say it’s the coach’s fault, the coach is abusive and a lot of times this is true. But not in this case. All I want is a voice,” he said. Ultimately, Donnelly also wants his job back. The university coaching season is over for the summer, but he had volunteered to coach a handful of elite swimmers for this summer’s national championship in Edmonton.“I want to coach. I love my work and I am totally committed to this team. I feel like what has happened is wrong.”


May 7, 1997

May 7 1997: Province Reports Tories Tackling Grewal’s “resume gap” with Liberian Despot

Filed under: Uncategorized — bucketsdata @ 12:24 am

Tories tackle Reformer’s resume ‘gap’
The Province
May 2, 1997
Byline: Don Hauka, Political Reporter

Conservatives say Reform candidate Gurmant Grewal is trying to hide his connections to an African dictator.

“Mr. Grewal’s party resume contains a 15-year gap between 1981 and 1996,” said Tory spokesman John Aisenstat. “The voters have a right to know what he was doing for those 15 years.”

Grewal, Reform candidate for Surrey Central, denies he spent part of those 15 years advising Liberian dictator President Sam Doe.

“I have never, ever advised the government,” an angry Grewal said yesterday. “I have never, ever stated I have been a political adviser to the government.”

But Grewal’s resume , sent to The Province in May 1995, states under Community Involvement: “Recommended to and then helped the president of Liberia (Doe) to launch Green Revolution in the country.” He also claimed to be “Honorary vice-consul of Liberia in Canada” in 1995.

Doe seized power in Liberia after a bloody coup in 1980. He was murdered in 1990 after a civil war.

Grewal sent the resume after B.C. Liberals said he was so politically green he should “donate five turkeys to the food bank” to gain experience. He protested he had ample political experience in Liberia and the U.S.

Asked about Grewal’s revised resume , Reform leader Preston Manning said: “I know nothing about that.”

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