Buckets of Data

June 6, 1997

Kitchener Record: June 6, 1997: University defends firing coach who skipped hearing

Filed under: Marsden — bucketsdata @ 11:38 pm

The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario)June 6, 1997 Friday Final EditionSECTION: FRONT; Pg. A12University defends firing of coach who skipped hearingVANCOUVER – Simon Fraser University was right to fire its swim coach after he was accused of sexually harassing a student, the university’s lawyer said Thursday.Anita Braha faced intense questioning from the media and members of the Simon Fraser swim team during a news conference in Vancouver, but maintained the university acted appropriately.Former swimmer Rachel Marsden, 22, has said she was a victim of date rape, a charge Liam Donnelly, 29, has vehemently denied.University president John Stubbs fired Donnelly — a former Simon Fraser coach of the year — May 23 after a three-member campus committee found him guilty of sexually harassing Marsden.Braha said Donnelly had a chance to defend himself during the committee hearing, but decided against it. She said the evidence may have been one-sided but Donnelly’s silence, while not implying guilt, could lead to negative conclusions. Donnelly has said he did not attend the hearing on the advice of his lawyer.He now has a new lawyer and has asked a university arbitration board to review his dismissal.He’s also asked the university to either reopen Marsden’s harassment allegation, or allow him to re-file a harassment complaint he made against Marsden. He earlier dropped that complaint — again on the advice of his first lawyer.Dozens of swimmers, former coaches and parents have spoken out in Donnelly’s defence and have begun a fund for his legal expenses.They agree with Donnelly’s claim that Marsden was obsessed with him and showered him with unwanted attention and gifts.Last week, Donnelly released e-mail he says Marsden sent offering him sexual favors, as well as photos of her in modelling poses.Photographer David Anthony said this week he took the pictures about three years ago.He said Marsden told him she was interested in someone who didn’t seem to reciprocate the romantic feelings. “She made a comment that maybe these photos would help her get the person,” said Anthony, who added that Marsden appeared to be joking.

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  1. […] Vancouver Sun: June 6, 1997 Kitchener Record: June 6, 1997: University defends firing coach who skipped hearing  https://bucketsdata.wordpress.com/1997/06/06/kitchener-record-june-6-1997-university-defends-firing-c… […]

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