Ohio State Investigation Alleges Cleveland
Ohio State hired an outside law firm to investigate the relationship between a massage therapist and Buckeyes football players. The investigation determined no laws or NCAA rules were broken. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State says a Cleveland-area massage therapist used those services to seek sexual relationships with football players, leading to the revocation of her license.
The university made public Thursday the findings of a two-month investigation, conducted by the law firm Barnes & Thornburg. The report characterized the therapists actions as inappropriate and exploitative.
In a background call with reporters, athletic director Gene Smith said an OSU compliance investigation determined no NCAA violations occurred. He said the NCAA agreed with that finding.
However, the individual was barred from campus and lost her massage therapist license in Ohio. The report does not name the woman.
Smith said Ohio State shared the details of the report in an effort to be transparent, and to allow other schools and athletic programs to learn from the episode.
Here are the key points of the report:
What activity took place?
These meetings began in 2018 and continued until 2021, mostly in off-campus housing or hotels. Eventually the therapist also began contacting OSU recruits on national signing day via social media messages.
Ohio State compliance began its own investigation, but by March 18, opted to hire outside counsel.
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Woman Would Send Players Sexual Messages
The investigation found that the woman primarily targeted players from 18 to their early 20s. The five players who said they had sexual encounters with the woman said they were consensual.
Twenty other players simply received massages from the woman and multiple players noted that she had gotten close or brushed their groin areas during the course of her massages. Four players detailed instances of inappropriate and unwanted conduct by the therapist.
The report noted the woman would contact players via social media and would sometimes send overtly sexual messages to them.
In most situations, the massage therapist initially made her offer of massage therapy to the OSU football student-athletes via social media, then would often send several follow-up messages. Some of the messages merely had sexual undertones, but in other instances the messages were both sexually explicit and included naked pictures.
The investigation included an interview with the woman. The report said she claimed to have a “deep concern” for the players she massaged.
The report also noted that Ohio State had a robust and thorough compliance program and that no NCAA violations took place because the school was unaware of the womans actions. In addition to losing her massage license, the woman has also been banned from campus and the school has sent her a cease and desist order prohibiting contact with any members of the football program.
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Ohio State Shares Results Of Probe Into Massage Therapist Targeting Football Players
Ohio State released the results of an independent investigation today into allegations an Ohio-based massage therapist had targeted OSU football players as part of a scheme to engage in sexual activities with the players.
As part of a 20-page report, the Barnes & Thornburg law firm outlined its findings. The names of the massage therapist, listed as a 41-year-old woman, and the players were redacted in the report. The therapist has had her massage license permanently revoked after a complaint was filed with the State Medical Board.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith conducted a conference call with media members earlier this afternoon to clarify some aspects of this evolving story.
Im thankful that our student-athletes, coaches and staff were honest, forthright and open during the investigation, Smith said. Im really thankful they maintained confidentiality, affording the investigation the opportunity to operate without distraction and operate with integrity.
It is alleged that the massage therapist began contacting OSU players in person and via social media as far back as 2018 to solicit them for massage sessions.
The compliance office then consulted with the state attorney generals office, which suggested an independent investigation. Barnes & Thornburg was enlisted to conduct the investigation.
The university kept the NCAA and Big Ten informed throughout this process, Smith said.
Here was the conclusion of the Barnes & Thornburg investigation report:
Massage Therapist Targeted Ohio State Football Players For Sex University Says
A massage therapist engaged in “inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the Ohio State football team” and had sex with at least five Buckeyes, the university said Thursday, citing the findings of a law firm hired to investigate.
The massage therapist worked as an independent contractor and was never hired by the school or its athletic department, according to a statement by Ohio State.
She has surrendered her license to state regulators, the school said.
At least five football players “acknowledged during interviews that they engaged in sexual activity with the massage therapist,” according to the findings by the law firm Barnes & Thornburg, which the university retained to investigate the matter.
At least 20 football players said they received “massages only” from the woman, the law firm found.
“The massage therapist carried out her scheme from 2018 through 2021 ,” the report said. “She occasionally, but not always, allowed the player to pay for the first massage. She often refused to accept payment when the football student athletes attempted to pay her. Her scheme, as uncovered in the investigation, included providing or offering to provide the football student athletes with receipts as if they had paid.”
While the report cast all the sexual encounters as non-criminal, the school said it has turned the findings over to local prosecutors.
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The school said it had forwarded the findings to the NCAA.
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A massage therapist had sex with five Ohio State football players after offering them a rubdown, a report said.
The 41-year-old womans sexual therapy sessions came to light after a complaint was made against her with the Medical Board of Ohio in March 2020, according to a university report obtained by USA Today.
The complaint alleged the unidentified woman sought out Ohio State football players, offering them free massages in order to segue into sex for which she would demand payment.
A year later, an investigation was begun by a law firm hired by the university that involved interviewing 117 current and former players and 44 active and former coaches and staffers to determine if crimes or NCAA violations had occurred.
A majority of the interviewed players, 83, had never heard about or interacted with the massage therapist.
But 20 players received regular massages from her, and five others had consenual sex with the woman.
According to the report, no coaches or their staffers knew of her.
Ohio State said the investigation did not uncover any crimes or NCAA violations.
The investigation found no evidence that the massage therapist is or was acting on behalf of an agent or any particular person or entity in professional or collegiate sports, much less on behalf of OSU athletics, the report said.
Rather, the facts indicate that she seemed to be acting for her own sexual gratification and that she acted alone.
Ohio State: Investigation Finds Massage Therapist Targeted Football Players For Sex
The State Medical Board of Ohio has revoked a massage therapists license after an investigation alleges she targeted football players in an attempt to engage in sexual acts with them.
The Ohio State University released reports and public records on Thursday regarding the investigation into the allegations.
According to the university, the school became aware of a situation in March involving an independent massage therapist who engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the football team.
After university police determined they lacked jurisdiction to investigate, the university requested Barnes & Thornburg, through the Ohio Attorney General, to conduct an independent investigation.
According to Barnes & Thornburg, the investigation began with a complaint filed on March 14, 2020 with the state medical board alleging a female licensed massage therapist was offering free therapeutic massages to members of the team and used those massages as a means to initiate sexual interactions with some of those players and demanding payment.
Barnes & Thornburg said the boards investigation was delayed for nearly a year until someone shared the complaint with the Ohio State University Police Division on March 4.
During their investigation, Barnes & Thornburg found that the therapist offered massages to the players through social media leaving the impression she had a legitimate business but with the intent of engaging with them in sexual encounters.
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Calculated Effort To Harass And Get Close To Football Players
The school hired the Barnes and Thornburg law firm to handle the independent investigation after the school learned of a March 2020 complaint against the woman in March of 2021.
The woman, 41, lives approximately two hours northeast of Columbus. According to the firm, she operated her massage scheme to make contact with OSU football student-athletes. She appeared to be driven by her desire for physical and sexual contact with members of the OSU football team.
The investigation also noted that it didnt uncover any evidence the woman tried to extort the football players or had contact with any other players at the school outside of the football team.
The firm said it talked to over 100 football players and over 80 had either no or very limited knowledge of the womans existence.
Massage Therapist Allegedly Targeted Ohio State Football Players For Sex
A massage therapist allegedly solicited Ohio State football players and engaged in sex with some of the players after offering them massages through social media.
The university says it became aware in March that the State Medical Board of Ohio investigated an independent massage therapist who engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the Ohio State football team.
The investigation was sparked by a complaint that was made on March 14, 2020, against the unidentified 41-year-old therapist with the State Medical Board of Ohio.
An independent investigation by the Barnes & Thornburg law firm found that 20 players received a massage from the woman and five engaged in sexual activities.
The statement says the investigation did not uncover any evidence that any current or former coaches or staff members for the OSU football team were aware of the massage therapist or of her contacts with the football student-athletes. In addition, no University policies were violated.
The state medical board has permanently revoked the license of the therapist.
Ohio State does not believe the massage therapists actions trigger NCAA rules or form the basis for NCAA violations.
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Ohio State Bans Massage Therapist For Inappropriate Behavior Targeting Football Team
A massage therapist has been barred from Ohio State’s campus and from having any interaction with Ohio State athletics members after an independent investigation found she had engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the Buckeyes football team.
The university released statements and a full report on the investigation, concluding that the massage therapist had no affiliation with the university or its athletics department and that the school does not believe any NCAA rules were violated. The massage therapist is a 41-year-old woman who lives roughly two hours north of campus and obtained her massage therapy license in 2009 in Ohio. She claims to have had clients in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NCAA football.
An investigation began after a complaint filed on March 14, 2020, with the State Medical Board of Ohio that alleged a female licensed massage therapist was offering free therapeutic massages to members of the Ohio State football team. She had been using the massages as a “means to initiate sexual interactions with some of the football student athletes, and then demanding payment,” according to the investigation report.
The firm found that the massage therapist used two methods to attempt to initiate sexual encounters — isolating the student-athletes to get them in a vulnerable position or sending out “overtly sexual messages and see if she could engage their interest in a sexual encounter” — according to the report.
Ohio State University Bans Massage Therapist Who ‘exploited Football Players By Offering Free Massages To Initiate Sex With Them’
- The massage therapist, whose name was not released, agreed to give up her license on March 22 in order to avoid an investigation by the state medical board
- A law firm hired by the university found that no criminal or NCAA violations occurred but recommended the findings be reviewed by a prosecutor
- The massage therapist, 41, offered dozens of Ohio State football players massages and engaged in consensual sex with five of them
- ‘She appeared to be driven by her desire for physical and sexual contact with members of the OSU football team,’ the report reads
- However, the investigation did not uncover any evidence that she engaged in any form of extortion or other financial coercion
- No university policies were found to have been violated, the report reads
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Massage Therapist Targeted Ohio State Football Players
A 41-year old massage therapist from Northeast Ohio has had her license revoked after an investigation found that she has targeted Ohio State football players since 2018 in an attempt to engage them in sexual activities.
According to the findings, she was driven by her desire for physical and sexual contact with members of the OSU football team.
The investigation, which was done by Barnes and Thornburg, did not uncover any evidence of extortion or other financial coercion, nor was there any foundation for a finding that extra benefits were provided to football student athletes. Furthermore, the investigation found that no NCAA violations occurred a finding which the NCAA has agreed with.
In March of 2021, OSU became aware of an investigation by the State Medical Board into an independent massage therapist who had engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behaviors targeted at members of the Ohio State football team.
The first complaint regarding the therapist was filed on March 14, 2020, but the investigation was delayed for almost an entire year until the Board shared the complaint with the Ohio State Police Division. The initial complaint alleged that a female massage therapist had been offering free massages to football student-athletes as a means to initiate sexual interactions with them.
The therapist has been banned from the Ohio State campus and is not permitted to have any further contact with OSU student-athletes.
A Massage Therapist Lured Ohio State University Football Players Into Sexual Encounters An Investigation Found
A massage therapist in Ohio had her license revoked following an investigation funded by the Ohio State University.
OSU’s independent investigation he had “engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior” through targeting football players at the school.
The massage therapist was not affiliated with the university.
The State Medical Board of Ohio has permanently revoked a massage therapist’s license after an investigation found she had “engaged in inappropriate and exploitative behavior” through targeting Ohio State University football players, the school said in a statement on Thursday.
The school said a complaint was filed with the State Medical Board of Ohio in March 2020, and OSU funded an independent investigation this year after becoming aware of the complaint.
The investigation found that in 2019 and 2020, the woman – an independent therapist not affiliated with the school – had offered free massages to football players at OSU, during which she would initiate sexual interactions and demand payment.
At least 20 players said they received massages from the woman, and five of them said they engaged in sexual activity with her, the investigation found.
All of the football players who acknowledged engaging in sexual activity with the woman described the encounters as consensual, according to the investigation.
This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.
Read the original article on Insider
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How Massage Therapist Allegedly Pursued Football Players
The woman contacted and attempted to ingratiate herself with players through social media. She reached out to the newest of them on National Signing Day when they sent in letters-of-intent.
She was persistent in her pursuit of players, according to the report, and she sent explicit pictures and messages to players and continued even if players didn’t respond.
The massage therapist allegedly falsely claimed that she was employed by professional sports teams in an attempt to add to her credibility. After providing a massage and developing a friendship with one player who lived off campus in a building with other players, she knocked on their doors unsolicited to offer massages. She also provided massages at hotels.
The report said she would offer players a free massage or let them pay for the first one and then provide later massages for free.
“She appeared to use whatever approach was most effective with the football student athletes,” the report said. “Often the football student athletes indicated they would try to pay the massage therapist but she would refuse, and then the football student athletes were confused as to how to respond.”
She then provided them receipts in an attempt to enhance her credibility as a legitimate massage therapist, the report said.