Hung Le is a Stanford math lecturer accused of sexually harassing the college’s male wrestlers by watching them shower for years. Seven former wrestlers came forward for the first time to allege that Le ogled them naked in the locker room after practices, The Mercury News reports.
The former wrestlers said that they complained to coaches but they did nothing to stop it. The coaches disputed the claims. Le has denied doing anything inappropriate.
Le claimed that the allegations were the result of a “misunderstanding” and said he showered with the wrestlers after going running.
Some of the wrestlers accused him of touching himself and “spying” on wrestlers in the shower. He denied the allegations to the Mercury News.
Here’s what you need to know:
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1. 7 Former Stanford Wrestlers Accuse Hung Le
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Seven former wrestlers came forward for the first time to publicly allege that Le ogled them in the showers. Le has been affiliated with the Stanford wrestling team for 25 years, The Mercury News reported. Le is accused of touching himself while “spying” on the wrestlers in the shower. Le denied any wrongdoing.
“I felt pretty exposed and pretty unprotected by the folks who were supposed to be” us, former wrestler Josh Brown told the outlet. “Any given day where that happened would be the worst day.”
“I never had any improper behavior,” Le said.
Matt Gentry, a 2004 NCAA champion at the school and a two-time Olympian, said that Le’s behavior was a “running joke” among the team, though he said he never felt harassed or threatened. “The fact there was excessive staring in the shower did happen,” he said.
Some of the wrestlers told the Mercury News that a teammate confronted Le but he did not change his behavior. The wrestlers said other men sometimes showed up with Le and “stared at them the way Le did,” the outlet reported, though they could not identify the other individuals.
Most of the wrestlers admitted they never complained to coaches or college officials because they were embarrassed, the Mercury News reported. But some said they brought up the topic around coaches who told them to shower in groups and ignore Le.
Former wrestler Drew Martinez said then-head coach Steve Buddie and his assistant Jay Jackson were aware of the behavior. Both say they were unaware it was happening.
“It breaks my heart this comes up now and I am hearing of this,” said Buddie. “I had zero reported to me or brought to my attention.”
Jackson said that he never heard complaints about Le, but said “we told the wrestlers to watch themselves and be careful.”
Current head coach Jason Borrelli, who has been with the team since 2008, said that he believed Le “posed no threat.” “To my knowledge, nothing inappropriate ever happened, and if it had, I would have reported it immediately,” his associate head coach, Ray Blake, told the Mercury News.
2. Hung Le Denies Doing Anything Inappropriate
The wrestlers have come forward against Hung Le Ph.D. ’95 — a lecturer and longtime supporter of the team — who they claim would stare at them while they were naked in the public locker room and sometimes touch himself. Le denies all allegations.https://t.co/Jfcy8ICI5g
— The Stanford Daily (@StanfordDaily) November 30, 2018
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“I never had any improper behavior,” Le told The Mercury News and denied all of the allegations.
“I am shocked some of the wrestlers said they were uncomfortable,” Le said. “No one ever said anything to me.”
The Mercury News reported:
In interviews with this news organization, Le called it all a misunderstanding, saying it was only coincidental that he showered when the wrestlers did after he went running. Le said he also faces an accusation that he was seen touching himself while “spying” on wrestlers in the shower, a charge he vehemently denied…
When first approached by this news organization, Le initially denied being involved with Stanford wrestling. But documents and interviews contradicted that claim. He eventually acknowledged his long affiliation with the team, befriending coaches, being listed as a “Friend of Stanford Wrestling” in media guides, making donations, hosting dinners and serving on the youth team’s board to handle its finances.
3. Former Wrestlers Reject Hung Le’s Claims
Four of the former wrestlers said it was “more than random chance” that Le would regularly shower with them. Brown and three others said Le would sometimes wait for the wrestlers in the locker room when practices ran long or ended early.
“Even to this day I am wary in locker rooms, at least keeping my head on a swivel,” former wrestler Drew Martinez told the outlet.
“It had no business being this way,” said Brown. “But it is one of my vivid associations of being an athlete at Stanford.”
4. Stanford Launched Title IX Investigation Into Claims Against Hung Le
The Mercury News reports that Stanford began its investigation of the allegations against Le over the summer under Title IX, a federal law that requires colleges to investigate such claims.
The outlet reported that the investigation will cover allegations made by athletes about incidents that took place between 2002 and 2010.
A Stanford spokesperson told the outlet that the investigation may conclude as early as Friday.
The allegations first surfaced when a former wrestler expressed concerns about Le’s position on the wrestling team’s youth team, the Cardinal Wrestling Club. None of the allegations against Le involve the youth club or current team members.
Le resigned his position in June before the investigation was launched.
5. Stanford Previously Received Complaints About Hung Le
Stanford wrestlers claim they were leered at in the shower after practice over several years by a math lecturer. Stanford launched a Title IX investigation in the summer. https://t.co/eK42cRFU9o
— Matt Keller (@MattKellerABC7) November 30, 2018
The wrestlers who came forward said they were unaware of the past allegations against Le.
The Mercury News reports that in 2011, a friend of one of the wrestlers informed the school of Le’s behavior in the showers. An athletics department official cleared Le of misconduct but warned him to avoid the showers and one-on-one encounters with team members.
Le was investigated by the athletics department and the Sexual Harassment Policy office but Le said he was never interviewed by an investigator from the office and only discussed the matter with the athletics department, according to The Mercury News. An email sent by former athletics official Earl Koberlein to Le urged him to “keep a good distance away from wrestling team members” in the shower but said he found no violations of the sexual harassment policy.
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