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Nate Parker’s past is once again making headlines after it was discovered he was accused of exposing himself to a female college student in 2000.
According to a New York Times investigation, the handling of this incident by Penn State, the college Parker was attending and was a wrestler for, is being looked into by the Philadelphia Attorney General’s office, which is also prosecuting three former university officials on charges related to the Jerry Sandusky abuse scandal.
Parker, the writer, director and star of Birth of a Nation, was also accused of rape in 1999, but was later acquitted of those charges. That unearthed case dogged Parker in the lead-up to the film’s release on Oct. 7.
According to The Times, newly discovered records “indicate that Penn State officials appear to have been lenient at times with Mr. Parker. Suspended from the wrestling team when he was criminally charged with rape, he was reinstated in the fall of 2000 while still facing trial. Within weeks, a female student trainer complained that he had exposed himself to her. But after she decided not to go to the police, despite the urging of the university, Penn State appears to have dropped the matter.”
The state’s attorney general’s office is looking into what exactly happened, as one of the three men being prosecuted for the Sandusky scandal, Tim Curley, the university’s former athletic director, was involved with how the Parker exposure incident was handled, according to The Times, which cited interviews with several people, including the woman who made the complaint.
“Prosecutors are trying to assess whether the school’s handling of Mr. Parker suggests a broader pattern of inaction by the athletic department when it came to complaints of sexual misconduct,” The Times reported, citing two law enforcement officials briefed on the investigation who are not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Curley’s attorney declined to comment on the Parker case to The Times.
Parker, through his lawyer, told the newspaper that he “was never told of any exposure complaint, and that no such incident had occurred.”
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