Current Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour was reportedly made aware of sexual harassment claims by former Cal swimmer Jenna Rais against former Cal athletics employee Mohamed Muqtar, according to an article by PennLive’s David Jones which was a followup to an Outside The Lines report.
Rais told PennLive that she was sexually harassed by the recently fired Mohamed Muqtar in 2001 and 2002, which was prior to Barbour’s tenure at Cal (2004-2014). Rais said she didn’t report the incident at the time because she didn’t think the Cal athletic department would believe her.
Rais went on to report a separate sexual assault incident against another Cal employee — one that did not involve Muqtar — in 2009. But Rais told PennLive that, “nothing came of it because [the other employee] wasn’t hired [yet] by the university at the time I was sexually assaulted.”
Rais reporting the separate 2009 incident is what led her to email Cal chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Sandy Barbour in 2010 about her claims against Muqtar. Rais says that she was never contacted back about her email by either Birgeneau or Barbour.
“In hindsight, I think they could have directed me to file a complaint with their [Title IX] office of prevention of harassment,” Rais told PennLive. “They could have done that, but they didn’t.”
Sandy Barbour said in a statement she is confident the matter was handled appropriately.
“The safety and well-being of student-athletes, providing them resources and opportunities that lead to an outstanding college experience while preparing them to make an impact after graduation has been my top priority throughout my career. I take seriously allegations of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior of any kind. I’m confident this matter was handled appropriately. However, since UC-Berkeley is reviewing the situation, it would be inappropriate to further comment.”