Just one day after an official complaint of sexual misconduct with WSU’s Office for Equal Opportunity was filed against Jason Gesser, the legendary former quarterback of the Washington State Cougars has resigned his post as assistant athletic director for the Cougar Athletic Fund.
News of a previous investigation into allegations leveled against Gesser were first reported by The Daily Evergreen on Thursday, though the OEO did not conduct a full investigation in that case because they did not have enough information. The OEO announced yesterday that the new complaint, filed by former volleyball player Alyssa Bodeau the same day, would be looked into separately and Gesser was placed on home assignment.
Gesser says in his resignation letter that he “respectfully (has) a different recollection of the situation (the women) described, but acknowledge that I should never have been in the situation in the first place, and I apologize. I truly never meant to cause you any harm.”
Gesser also said in the letter that he didn’t mean to hurt anyone but “I believe it is best for all involved for me to move on.”
Bodeau released the following statement, via The Daily Evergreen:
“It’s been a long and difficult 48 hours, and an even more difficult three years. I’m extremely happy to see that Jason has resigned his position of influence and power at WSU.
“It’s a relief to know that no other young women will be subjected to Mr. Gessers actions and abuse of power. I pray he gets the help he needs and that his family can move forward.
“I also pray that this event will serve to give encouragement to others. Staying silent is no longer an option. If my story resonates with you, come forward. Bring it to the light so that we all – as a community – can begin the healing process. And to my Coug nation; thank you so much for the support. You are an amazing family.”
University president Kirk Schulz and athletic director Pat Chun released a statement this evening as well:
Late this afternoon, Washington State University received a letter of resignation from Jason Gesser, following the complaint shared with the Office for Equal Opportunity on Monday. The University has accepted Mr. Gesser’s resignation effective immediately.
We sincerely appreciate the courage it takes for individuals to come forward with concerns of this nature. We take the allegations extremely seriously, and the Office for Equal Opportunity intends to continue its investigation.
UPDATE, 9/18 9:35 p.m.: The Spokesman-Review spoke to a former Moscow masseuse on Monday evening who told the paper Gesser tried to grab her hand after exposing himself. From the Spokesman:
“It was towards the end of the massage. He had complained of groin pain, which isn’t unusual,” Lindsey Streets said. “But when I was working on the upper portion of his leg, he moved the blanket” and exposed himself. “And he tried, with his eyes still closed, to reach for my hand. I just stopped. I was petrified.”
Streets reportedly told Moscow Police about the incident but did not press charges due to lack of evidence. Police did give Street’s employer a placard which barred Gesser from the premises for a year after the 2015 incident.