Some call for U of I Athletic Director's resignation after botch - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Some call for U of I Athletic Director's resignation after botched sex assault case

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MOSCOW, Idaho -

Some students at the University of Idaho are calling for the athletic director to step down in response to a sexual assault from five years ago that’s finally making headlines.

A former female diver on the University of Idaho’s Swim and Dive Team says a football player sexually assaulted her in 2013.

When the sexual assault happened to the female diver in 2013, Sarah Solomon was just in high school.

“About a year and a half before I came up to U of I,” Solomon said.

She says she never knew the victim before, but after reading the story posted on a Tumblr account, it’s something that she hears often on campus.

“That story happens all the time,” Solomon said.

According to a statistic by RAINN, the National Network for Rape, Abuse & Incest, women ages 18-24 are three times more likely to be victims of sexual assaults on college campuses.

A staggering number, one that Solomon hopes can change.

The victim tells KHQ the sexual assault in question happened in April 2013.

But missteps occurred along the way, she claims, and the university and the athletic department failed to help.

Now five years later, a statement from the University of Idaho acknowledges that by saying, “U of I commends the blog writer in this case for having the courage to come forward and talk about how she has been affected by the incident she describes and for her persistence in insisting the university address the mistakes we made in how we handled the incident."

But now students are calling for University of Idaho Athletic Director, Rob Spear, to step down.

“This isn't so much about targeting Rob Spear,” Solomon said, “I've never met him and I've heard he's done a lot of really great things for the athletic department.”

“But it's more about holding people accountable for their actions, and I think that if someone has a job to do, and they don't do it, and if you really care about sexual assault, then you need to be holding people accountable when they do that,” Solomon said.

The Associated Students of the University of Idaho say that on Wednesday they will hear public comment regarding Rob Spear and whether he should resign.

Student government senators say they will hear from students since it’s a new business item, but will not take a vote this week on the matter.

“We're looking at this particular issue from all angles. We want to be as informed as we can when deciding on things like this, especially of this magnitude. So we have written up a resolution right now to be discussed in the senate and then given to the broader university,” Jacob Lockhart, an ASUI Senator said.

The meeting will start at 7:00 P.M. Wednesday.

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