Penn State accuses former football player of ‘misappropriating’ confidential document

WILLIAMSPORT — Penn State has accused a former soccer player of “misappropriating” a confidential document related to its investigation into his allegations of sexual harassment and bullying.

The charges are included in a letter the university wrote Tuesday to U.S. Judge Matthew W. Brann in connection with Isaiah Humphries’ lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Humphries, who transferred to the University of California after the 2018 season, was molested by four teammates in his freshman season and that the university and head coach James Franklin did nothing about it.

Brann removed the university and Franklin from the case last September, leaving Damon Barber, who joined Austin Peay in 2020, as the sole defendant. Barber denies the allegations and is seeking a dismissal of the claims against him.

The judge has denied Humphries an appeal against the decision to drop the university and Franklin from the case because the lawsuits against Barber remain active.

Humphries claims Barber, Micah Parsons, Yetur Gross-Matos and Jesse Luketa bullied and molested him two to three times a week in 2018. Barber was the only one sued.

The university remains involved because Humphries issued a subpoena requesting confidential records related to his 2019 investigation into an anonymous complaint of his harassment.

Penn State identifies the document as the final investigative report of an investigation into this complaint by the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention (OSMPR).

According to the letter to Brann:

Towards the end of the investigation, the report was submitted to Humphries and respondents for review, subject to the express condition that no one would retain a copy and that everyone would agree to keep the information contained therein confidential.

Unknown to OSMPR at the time, and despite being specifically forbidden from doing so, Humphries apparently took photos of every single page of that report, Penn State alleges.

The university says it knew Humphries gave his “collectively compiled copy” to his attorney, Steven Marino, because the attorney attached an unredacted form to a “draft complaint” he sent to Penn State shortly before the lawsuit was filed have.

Attempts to reach Marino were unsuccessful.

Also, according to the letter, Humphries subpoenaed confidential documents discussed in the report with citations to specific pages where they are mentioned.

The university says it has no objection to the submission of the report and other documents, subject to appropriate redacting, but will not do so unless there is a signed agreement ensuring they remain confidential and do not appear on the court record .

Barber’s attorney agreed to sign it, but Marino refused, the letter said.

The OSMRP report includes the students’ personal observations and accounts of the alleged assault Humphries allegedly committed, Penn State says, adding:

“Humphries has no valid reason to insist on the ability to disseminate or use this information outside of this process…”

Penn State is seeking a conference with Brann to discuss the dispute and seek a motion for an order that materials prepared in response to the subpoena be kept confidential and not disclosed.

The lawsuit details allegations of harassment involving Humphries and other players.

Granting the motions to be fired filed by Penn State and Franklin, Brann wrote, “Be for whatever [Humphries’] The complaint was full of attention-grabbing details, lacking substance.”

He dismissed claims they had a duty to protect Humphries, who was recruited from Texas.

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