| March 18, 2018

UI athletics department mishandled sexual assault complaint in 2013

March 8, 2018

The University of Idaho athletic department mishandled a sexual assault complaint involving a football player and a swim and dive athlete in April 2013. Athletics violated Title IX guidelines and UI policy.

Mairin Jameson

Mairin Jameson, the swim and dive athlete, reported instances of harassment by wide receiver Jahrie Level to the UI athletic department staff and Moscow Police.

The Argonaut does not generally name victims of sexual assault, but Jameson agreed to be in this story.

Jameson posted to a friend’s Tumblr page Jan. 30 recounting the sexual assault and her experience working with the university afterward.

The reports were mishandled by the athletic department, according to Jameson and the university. In cases of sexual harassment or violence, the department involved must notify the Dean of Students office — the department did not meet that requirement.

Rob Spear

According to the Idaho Statesman, UI Athletic Director Rob Spear said the department did not notify the Dean of Students in Jameson’s case.

The sexual assault occurred off campus at CJ’s Nightclub April 20, 2013, according to a UI report obtained by The Argonaut.

“Jahrie came up behind me and put his fingers up my skirt and rubbed the front of my underwear all the way to my butt,” Jameson wrote in the report. “Jahrie makes me feel very uncomfortable, disrespected and I fear for my safety. No man should ever touch a woman the way he touched me.”

Jameson consulted with her athletic adviser and the Moscow Police following the assault. She then attempted to explore her options within the athletic department. According to the Statesman article, Spear should have reported that information to the dean of students immediately, but he did not, he admits.

The university released a statement regarding Jameson’s Tumblr post. It details the school’s involvement in the case.

“U of I commends the blog writer in this case for having the courage to come forward and talk about how she has been affected by the incident she describes and for her persistence in insisting the university address the mistakes we made in how we handled the incident,” the statement reads. “We are glad the young woman ultimately found the U of I’s Women’s Center and the Dean of Students office where she received help and support while the matter was addressed. That said, the university acknowledges the matter was initially mishandled. The blog author says she did not feel supported by the athletics department and was given incorrect information about her options under U of I policy regarding sexual assault or harassment.”

Mike Walsh, assistant athletic director, said the department is granting no further interviews regarding the situation and athletics will stand by the official university statement.

Jahrie Level did not respond after multiple attempts to contact him.

According to a Vandal Nation report from 2013, Level transferred to Stony Brook University in June 2013.

Jameson said she originally wrote the Tumblr post as a response to the #METOO movement and the sexual abuse case involving USA Gymnastics.

“My college tenure there wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and that’s okay, and just kind of take it and put it in the past and move on,” Jameson said. “I’ve put that in the past.I’m not like broken because of that, and I’ve moved on from that. But I don’t think I’ve fully gotten closure from the situation because of how the athletic department handled it.”


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1 comment
  1. Both AD Spear and Coach Petrino should be fired!