SAN JOSE, Calif. - San Jose State University agreed to pay out $1.6 million to 13 women who were sexually assaulted by an athletic trainer, according to the Department of Justice.
Last year the Department of Justice launched an investigation into how the university responds to reports of sexual assault. The department found that for more than a decade SJSU failed to adequately respond to reports of sexual harassment, including cases that involved student-athletes being sexually assaulted by a trainer at the university.
"Beginning in 2009, female student-athletes reported that the trainer subjected them to repeated, unwelcome sexual touching of their breasts, groins, buttocks, and/or pubic areas during treatment in the campus training facilities," the department said in a statement.
The university's negligence put other students in danger, federal investigators said. The department also found that two university employees faced retaliation for advocating for the students.
"The first employee repeatedly alerted school officials to the threat the athletic trainer posed, and the second employee expressed opposition to retaliating against the reporting employee and was terminated by SJSU," the DOJ said.
In addition to paying out $1.6 million to the victims, the university has also agreed to implement new policies and procedures for responding to complaints of sexual assault.
The unnamed trainer no longer works at the institution.
"No student should be subjected to sexual harassment at a college or university in our country, especially by an employee who wields a position of power," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.