Fired Cal Coach: Reporter Who Filed Harassment Complaint 'Lamest Girl Ever,' 'A Total Ditz' - NBC Bay Area

Fired Cal Coach: Reporter Who Filed Harassment Complaint 'Lamest Girl Ever,' 'A Total Ditz'

The woman behind the sexual harassment complaint says UC Berkeley basketball coach stopped being her source after she ignored his advances

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    Cal Coach Investigation Details Sexual Advances

    The reporter behind the sexual harassment complaint against UC Berkeley assistant basketball coach Yann Hufnagel told investigators that he stopped being her sources after she ignored his sexual advances. Elyce Kirchner reports. (Published Tuesday, March 15, 2016)

    The sports reporter behind the sexual harassment complaint against UC Berkeley assistant basketball coach Yann Hufnagel told investigators that he stopped being her source after she ignored his sexual advances.

    The reporter's accusations — including a series of suggestive text messages and an incident in which Hufnagel acknowledged trying to "trick" her into coming up to his apartment, where he expected to have sex with her — are detailed in a 23-page redacted version of an investigative report that the university released Tuesday, a day after they fired Hufnagel for allegedly violating the school's sexual harassment policy.

    Hufnagel's firing comes after a six-month investigation by the university’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination into an allegation of sexual harassment by the reporter. University spokesperson Dan Mogulof said the alleged sexual harassment began last summer and the woman who accused the coach was not affiliated with the school.

    The woman — whose name is being withheld — told investigators that she was in touch with Hufnagel for work, and would occasionally text or tweet him to meet her for coffee to talk about the UC Berkeley basketball stories she was working on. According to her, Hufnagel would "frequently turn the text conversations into sexual innuendos," which she typically "deflected" with humor. "He used his power," because he was her only source of information, she told investigators.

    At one point, the woman alleges that Hufnagel asked her to "come have a three-way with me" and another person whose name was redacted.

    The woman claims in the report that after she ignored Hufnagel’s sexual advances, he stopped providing her information that was pertinent to her assignment. She alleges that she was no longer able to do her job as a result of this and was fired.

    The university started the investigation after the woman complained about a "detailed series of communications and behaviors" from Hufnagel between November 2014 and May 2015.

    Hufnagel could not be reached for comment, but on Monday, after news of his termination broke, he tweeted: "Right now, the only focus should be on our basketball team! My time to exonerate myself of a fruitless claim by a reporter will come."

    In the report, the woman alleges that she had to endure “frequent and recurrent sexual harassment” from Hufnagel during the course of her employment.

    The report details one day in February 2015 during which Hufnagel asked the woman to drive him home after he had been drinking at Jupiter, a downtown Berkeley bar popular with UC Berkeley students, and then propositioned her for sex once she had driven into his garage.

    The woman recalls telling Hufnagel that she was going to leave, to which he allegedly responded: "You're coming up."

    Hufnagel acknowledged to investigators that his invitation to go to Jupiter "was a sexual advance." He believed that there was "1000% acceptance on her part."

    He told investigators that he thought she was "the lamest girl ever" because she drank tea at the bar, according to the report. He also described her as "a total ditz" and "not a good fit." He gave investigators a different account, telling them that he did not have a drink at Jupiter and drove his car back home that night. At one point in the investigation, he admitted that "with all candor, I was trying to trick her into going upstairs." When investigators asked if he had sexual or romantic intentions at that point, he replied, "yes."

    At one point, Hufnagel told investigators that it's part of his job to "mislead and redirect media."

    Hufnagel’s case is the third such sexual harassment complaint to rock the University of California's flagship campus in nearly five months.

    Hufnagel will not be traveling with the team during its NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run, head coach Cuonzo Martin said in a statement.

    The university was initially going to release the investigative report on Monday, the day it announced Hufnagel’s termination, but delayed the release to give him time to read it.

    You can reach Riya @loislane28 or riya.bhattacharjee@nbcuni.com.

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