Report: Personal texts, bold proposition led to UC Berkeley assistant basketball coach’s firing

Player profile of assistant coach Yann Hufnagel on calbears.com

 

BERKELEY (KRON) —  KRON4 has obtained the documents that detail the sexual allegations against a UC Berkeley basketball coach, according to officials Tuesday.

A report by the University of California, Berkeley shows an assistant basketball coach who is in the process of being fired sent a female journalist text messages filled with sexual innuendo and once tried to trick her into going to his apartment.

UC Berkeley officials released written findings Tuesday from a seven-month sexual harassment investigation of assistant men’s basketball coach Yann Hufnagel. Head Coach Cuonzo Martin moved to fire Hufnagel on Monday when the inquiry was completed.

The reporter who complained about Hufnagel’s actions told investigators she felt trapped into tolerating his unwelcome advances because she relied on him as a news source.

The report states Hufnagel acknowledged wanting to have sex with her, but that he did not think his behavior was inappropriate because she did not work for the university.

The victim was a woman who met informally with coaches, including Yann Hufnagel, as part of her job, the report said.

The victim said that she occasionally texted or tweeted Hufnagel to meet him for coffee in order to gather information pertaining to UC Berkeley’s men’s basketball team, according to the report.

Over a period of time, the woman received sexual harassment messages from Hufnagel on a weekly basis in an attempt to communicate for professional purposes, the report said.

The victim said that Hufnagel would frequently turn the text conversations into sexual innuendos, “he used his power.” The victim would recall that 90 percent of their text messages that occurred approximately once every two weeks were not welcomed by her, the report said.

The victim recalled one incident when she drove by his apartment and Hufnagel kept insisting on having sex. The victim states, “Are you thinking that I’m going to have sex with you?” and Hufnagel responds with “Yes.”, and she goes on to say, “Not going to happen…you and I are professional colleagues…not interested in you.” At that point, Hufnagel closed the garage door with her car inside. And he did not let her out of the garage, according to the report.

There is one example in the report from Feb. 2015, when after a meeting at a bar for information, Hufnagel drank a few beers and insisted the reporter drive him home.

Once in his garage, the report states, he closed the door behind them using a remote control and asked her to come up. She questioned his intentions, saying she was not interested in him or having sex. And with the garage door closed, she felt scared because he was controlling her ability to leave.

The report also details text messages between the two, where Hufnagel talks about oral sex and having a three-way.

After turning down his advances, she said Hufnagel allegedly denied her a ticket to a game she wanted to cover and gave her poor information on for a story–and that lead to her termination.

The alleged incidents happened in a six-moth period from Nov. 2014 to May 2015.

The report states Hufnagel admitted to the actions, saying, “he was trying to trick her into [going] upstairs ” and believed she was likely willing to have sex. Hufnagel lost his job and will not be traveling with the team to the NCAA tournament this Friday.

Hufnagel addressed the accusations on Twitter Monday and Tuesday.

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KRON’s Justine Waldman will have a full report during our 5, 6, and 8 p.m. newscasts.


The Associated Press contributed to this report

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