Penn State fencing assistant fired over groping allegation

A girl says she informed Penn State College’s head fencing trainer that one among his assistants had groped her on a airplane, however the trainer did not record her accusation to the college as required.

Jennifer Oldham, a North Carolina fencing trainer, informed The Philadelphia Inquirer that she used to be aboard a December 2017 flight with a gaggle of fencing coaches coming back from a contest when Penn State assistant George “Gia” Abashidze many times requested her for intercourse, touched her knee, arm and higher leg, then grabbed her crotch.

Oldham mentioned she informed head trainer Wes Glon what took place. Glon had Abashidze say sorry to Oldham, however knowledgeable her he didn’t record the incident to Penn State, the newspaper reported. “Nobody will imagine you,” Oldham mentioned he informed her.

Oldham’s husband, Jeff Kallio, who runs the Mid-South Fencers’ Membership in Durham, North Carolina, along with her, sooner or later reported his spouse’s accusation and Glon’s alleged state of being inactive to Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. Penn State introduced an investigation and fired Abashidze on March four.

Penn State showed it additionally investigated Glon’s behavior, however declined to mention whether or not he confronted any self-discipline over his alleged failure to record. Underneath Penn State coverage, coaches are required to record sexual harassment court cases.

Abashidze declined remark to the newspaper, as did Glon, who has been at the fencing group’s training workforce for greater than 3 a long time and used to be named its head trainer since 2013. The ladies’s group used to be runner-up on the NCAA nationwide fencing championship in March.

Penn State’s investigative record, received by way of The Inquirer, signifies Glon had made up our minds Oldham’s accusation used to be “tough to imagine.”

However Oldham’s account used to be corroborated by way of any other passenger at the airplane, Lewis Vaden, who informed college investigators that Abashidze gave the impression to be under the influence of alcohol when he boarded, and that he overheard Abashidze propositioning her as she persevered to mention no. He mentioned he noticed Abashidze touching her.

“It used to be nerve-racking,” Vaden, a fencing provide corporate dealer from New Brunswick, New Jersey, mentioned in an interview. “It used to be only a whole violation of her house.” After the incident, Vaden mentioned, “I felt dangerous that I did not haul off and slug him.”

Oldham and her attorney filed a grievance with Penn State ultimate month over Glon’s dealing with of the case. They’re additionally taking into consideration prison motion.

“I believed it used to be obtrusive this used to be flawed,” she mentioned.

Abashidze, a local of former Soviet republic of Georgia, had coached at Penn State since 2009. He is additionally coached a number of Olympians and coached the Georgian Nationwide Fencing group.

The U.S. Heart for SafeSport, the administrative center charged with overseeing sex-abuse circumstances in Olympic sports activities, suspended Abashidze for 3 years for sexual misconduct however later lowered it to 1 yr after he appealed.


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