Six Kansas women athletes report misconduct, unwarranted touching by massage therapist
By Jesse Newell, The Kansas City Star 17 hrs ago
LAWRENCE, Kan. University of Kansas officials said their investigation into a former massage therapist who worked with KU Athletics has found that at least six women athletes reported inappropriate conduct, which included unwarranted touching during massages.
© Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS In this file image from 2013, shown is inside of the Booth Family Hall of Athletics and the entrance to adjacent Allen Fieldhouse at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.
Chancellor Douglas Girod and athletic director Jeff Long provided a joint statement on KUs public affairs website Tuesday. The school has been investigating Shawn Paul OBrien, 48, of Lawrence, since he was arrested in February. Hes charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under 14.
OBrien had been contracted by KU Athletics to provide massage services to Jayhawks womens sports teams since 2015, according to university officials.
KU reported Tuesday that its investigators had interviewed almost 40 athletes and seven staff members. It also said that the school determined one of KUs athletic trainers was aware of at least some reports of unwarranted and unwanted touching by the therapist but did not appropriately report the conduct, which is a requirement by the school.
We will continue our investigation into the conduct of the therapist and determine who, if anyone else, knew of inappropriate behavior that may have occurred, Long and Girods statement said.
KU also said that it learned that OBrien provided free massages on campus to the general student body as part of KU Alumnis Finals Dinner events between 2011 and 2019. As part of that, OBrien gave out gift cards that may have led to off-campus massages at his office, KUs statement said.
Local police, KU said, were working to determine whether inappropriate conduct took place there.
OBrien is listed as operating Kamehameha Massage LLC, according to Kansas business records. He owned the business starting in 2009. It dissolved in February 2019 because OBrien became the sole proprietor, according to state records.
Girod and Long first reported that they were investigating OBrien and his involvement with KU athletes on March 5.
I work with a guy who got 10 years in the joint for molesting an underage girl. He did the whole 10. I bet they were really on him hard when they found out why he was in there. You usually get one day off for every good day in there. But not in his case it seems. I wonder if he had soap on a rope so he did not have to bend over to pick it up.