Alleged Victim Of OSU Band Assault Speaks Out
More information has now been revealed surrounding the Ohio State University Marching Band investigation.
This comes after Marching Band director Jon Waters was fired on Thursday after a two-month investigation revealed a sexually-charged environment in the band and inappropriate rituals.
A victim of a sexual assault outlined in the investigation says after she came forward, she felt like she was punished for reporting it. 10TV has concealed her identity and her father's for protection.
The Big Ten basketball tournament in March 2013 was an event one female member of the athletic band says was an honor to attend. But during the tournament, things quickly turned dark.
She says she was sexually assaulted by one of her friends.
It is tough for her to discuss, but her dad explains in more detail what she told him.
“He had gotten her in his room and grabbed her, pushed an erection against her and groped her,” her father explains. “She broke free of his embrace and fled the room.”
She reported it to then-director Jon Waters, who told her he took it to the Athletic Department. The victim says Waters and Athletic Director Gene Smith decided to remove her and the attacker from the tournament band in response.
She says the decision wasn’t fair.
“I was being punished for being the victim of something,” she tells 10TV. Her father says she felt like she did something wrong.
The victim and her father both wrote an email to Waters, saying she didn't agree with the decision. However Waters stayed firm, so she went to the school’s Title IX coordinator, who said it was a violation of the law.
The victim says the coordinator talked to Waters and the NCAA and was allowed back on the trip.
However upon her return, she says she felt ostracized and everyone knew she'd spoken up. “I lost friends and nothing was the same.”
But she thinks it’s important to speak out once again that people understand the report is about more than rituals and antics. “I feel like so many people (think) ‘oh it’s just what band kids do,’ (but) it excelled past what band kids do.”
Gene Smith’s office did not return 10TV’s request for comment.
Following 10TV's report, Gary Lewis, Senior Director of Media and Public Relations for Ohio State issued the following statement:
"Gene Smith, nor anyone else in the the Ohio State Department of Athletics, was involved with any decision made involving student members of the band at the event mentioned in the 10tv report."