A 41-year-old female massage therapist has been barred from the Ohio State University campus after an investigation by the school determined she had been targeting Buckeye football players for sex over a three-year span.
As reported by ESPN, the university released statements and a full report on the investigation, which concluded that the massage therapist had no affiliation with Ohio State or its athletics department and that no NCAA rules appeared to be violated.
The first contact with an OSU student-athlete occurred in fall 2018 via social media, according to the investigation, conducted on the university's behalf by the law firm Barnes & Thornburg. The investigation began after a complaint was filed on March 14, 2020. The investigation also revealed that, at some point in 2020, the massage therapist contacted committed recruits on national signing day, claiming to be a masseuse for the team. In total, 34 football players had knowledge of the massage therapist, with 20 receiving massages only, and five football players acknowledging during interviews that they had engaged in sexual activities with her, ESPN reported.
According to Barnes & Thornburg, the massage therapist used two methods to initiate potential sexual encounters. She would isolate the student-athletes to enhance their vulnerability or send "overtly sexual messages and see if she could engage their interest in a sexual encounter." The firm's report notes that encounters mainly took place in off-campus housing or hotels, and that there was no direct evidence of force or of sex with a minor. There was evidence of harassment, however.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith wrote a letter to the massage therapist, believed to be located two hours north of Columbus, barring her from any contact with all student-athletes, athletic staff and coaches. Licensed in Ohio since 2009, the massage therapist has had her license revoked permanently by the medical board, ESPN reported.
The university's director of public safety Monica Moll also wrote a hand-delivered letter that bans the woman from being present on any property owned or controlled by Ohio State on any of its campuses. Any entry onto the premises will be considered criminal trespassing and result in arrest.