A former University of California, Berkeley assistant basketball coach is striking back after he was accused of sexually harassing a sports reporter and fired.
On Monday, Yann Hufnagel released a sample of over 900 texts that the pair exchanged. The messages prove the duo shared a consensual flirtation, but nothing more, according to Mary McNamara.
"This is a gross miscarriage of justice," she said. "He wants his reputation back, he wants his job back, and he should have that."
McNamara stressed that her client didn't deserve to be fired from a job he loves.
"It's ruining his reputation and has extraordinary serious consequences for him, his life, his career," she said.
Berkeley officials released Hufnagel last month when faced with the reporter’s claims that he sent her sexually harassing text messages. The victim also said that the maligned coach tried to get to her to come up to his apartment for sex.
"There was a mutual flirtation that occurred," McNamara said. "It was not only welcome by the complainant, but often was initiated by her, it was continued by her, and it went on for some period of time."
Not only did Hufnagel do "nothing wrong," but also there was "no physical contact of any nature" between the two, according to McNamara.
Berkeley officials are taking another look at the case in light of the newly shared messages. The dean will, upon the completion of their investigation, decide whether Hufnagel's "proposed discipline" is "warranted," university spokesman Dan Mogulof said in a statement.
However, he added, "It remains unclear why he apparently withheld hundreds of text messages he now believes to be relevant."
For her part, McNamara believes the texts will absolve Hufnagel.
"The hope is the university would understand and agree that they have made a mistake," she said.