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Published: Monday, 8/11/2014

Alum says it's 'absurd' to suggest fired Ohio State band director dismissed sexual harassment


COLUMBUS — A witness in the investigation of Ohio State’s marching band says it’s “absurd” to suggest fired director Jonathan Waters was dismissive of sexual harassment.

Waters was fired July 24 after a two-month investigation concluded he knew about but didn’t stop a “sexualized culture” of rituals including students marching partially clad and performing sexually themed stunts.

In a letter to President Michael Drake and trustees obtained by The Associated Press on Monday, the witness says she was sexually assaulted in high school and Waters protected her by involving stadium security when the perpetrator’s relatives attended a band rehearsal. She says a meeting with Waters was misconstrued in the investigation report.

The AP generally doesn’t identify people who say they’re victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly.

Messages have been left with the university, which defends Waters’ firing.

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