Good Day MarketPlace

ONLY ON: OSU Marching Band Mom Who Sparked Investigation Breaks Her Silence

Updated: Friday, August 1 2014, 05:49 AM EDT
ONLY ON: OSU Marching Band Mom Who Sparked Investigation Breaks Her Silence story image
COLUMBUS (Tom Sussi) -- Only on ABC 6/FOX 28, the mother behind an investigation that ultimately played a big part in The Ohio State University firing its Marching Band Director Jon Waters, talks for the first time since this scandal erupted last week.

The mom told Chief Investigator Tom Sussi that her daughter, a four-year band member, was sexually assaulted by another band member in October of 2013. The mother agreed to talk off-camera, only if the family wasn't identified.

The mother claims her daughter was assaulted at an off-campus house last October. She says her daughter and another band member were both drinking. She claims her daughter fell asleep, and when she woke up, the mother alleges the young man was sexually assaulting her daughter.

The mom told ABC 6 Investigators they reported the incident to Columbus Police, but in the end, she says her daughter decided not to press charges. According to the mom, she just wanted to get on with her life.
The family says they also reported the alleged crime to then-OSU Marching Band Director Jon Waters. The mother believes Waters investigated the allegations, and within three days, turned it over to the University.

According to an OSU student conduct hearing report obtained by ABC 6 Investigators, the young man was permanently expelled from OSU on October 12th. The ousted band member told ABC 6/FOX 28 he is reluctant at this time to tell his side of the story. He gave no comment for this investigation.

The young woman's mother claims Waters "never once said I'm sorry, or asked if there anything I can do to help your family." Conversely, she says OSU President Michael Drake was "wonderful. He was validating my daughter. He basically said one victim is too many." President Drake could not be reached for comment.

In May, eight months after the band member was expelled for sexual misconduct, the victim's mother filed a complaint with the University. She claimed the "band's culture was sexualized," and its members were made to "swear secrecy oaths about objectionable traditions and customers."

The University investigated and last week released its findings. It concluded "the marching band's culture facilitated acts of sexual harassment," and created "a hostile environment for students." The report stated Waters "knew or reasonably should have known about this culture but failed to eliminate the sexual harassment, prevent its recurrence and address its effects." As a result, Waters was fired.

The mother said "Waters was the director and he was well aware of the culture." She says the culture must change so other families don't experience what she calls a "living hell."
 The mother told us she's upset with all of the support Waters has received during this ordeal, but says she's not surprised.
As for her daughter, she chose to bypass her fifth year of eligibility to march with the band. The mom says her daughter feared she would be ostracized by some of the other band members. The young woman also declined to talk with us for this investigation.ONLY ON: OSU Marching Band Mom Who Sparked Investigation Breaks Her Silence

Top Stories