Iowa advisor faces sexual harassment allegations

Posted: Sun, 11/11, 6:23pm, Updated: 1 year ago

The University of Iowa athletics employee who resigned last week is facing allegations of sexual harassment, according to an internal investigation.

Peter Gray, a senior academic advisor who resigned last Monday, worked for the athletics department from 1993-95 and again from 2002 to last week.

According to a University of Iowa investigative report obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Gray attempted to trade athletics tickets and money for sexual favors and indicated he previously had been confronted about conduct concerns.

He also was found to have inappropriate photographs stored on his work computer, including two that involved individuals engaged in sex acts with toys or stuffed animals, numerous pictures of college-age individuals posing in swimsuits and a few of individuals dressed in underwear, the report stated.

Gray also admitted that he had a photograph of male swim team members posing in their swimsuits as a screen saver on his work computer, the report stated.

Iowa athletics director Gary Barta told the Press-Citizen on Wednesday that Gray resigned because of "personal reasons." On Friday night, athletics department spokesman Steve Roe told the Associated Press that neither he nor anyone else in the department would comment because it was a personnel issue.

Gray had been working as a one-on-one counselor to members of the Iowa women’s basketball, men’s golf, and men’s and women’s swimming teams, the Press-Citizen reported.

Investigators reviewed text messages, emails and photographs as part of their inquiry, the report stated. They found Gray received three nude photographs during the 2011 season from the individual to whom he allegedly gave the tickets and money, according to the documents. Gray denied the money or tickets were in exchange for sexual favors.

One unnamed student also told investigators Gray touched his or her genital area on one occasion, in addition to other inappropriate touching, and Gray had offered to perform oral sex.

"Dr. Gray admitted he made the sexually explicit comments, including the offer of oral sex, but he could not remember to whom he made the statements, when, or how often," the report states.

Investigators said in the report that most people they interviewed who worked in the Department of Athletics Student Service and Compliance were concerned about Gray's behavior with student-athletes. Co-workers and former employees said they repeatedly witnessed Gray hugging, patting and rubbing the shoulders and hair of student-athletes in an unsolicited manner that was not casual or professional.

"The touching was described as overly friendly, prolonged in nature and generally inappropriate for a professional in an academic advising or work setting," the report said.

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