FBI Investigates Bob Knight on Claims of Sexual Harassment
Four women employed at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) have accused Hall of Fame coach, Robert Montgomery “Bob” Knight, for allegedly touching them inappropriately and pass indecorous comments about their body.
These instances happened before and after his speech at NGA, according to various documents and interviews with NGA officials.
The allegations were originally led by the US Army and were later passed on to the FBI since Knight was not involved with the military. However, the Pentagon, Congress and other agencies were informed.
The allegations lasted for over a year, culminating in April 2016, but were published and made public now. The accused, however, denied any such instance and maintained his innocence.
The New York Times reported that, Knight’s lawyer, James Voyles, acknowledged that the FBI agents had interviewed Knight at his home in Montana last year and said the investigation had been dropped shortly afterwards. “There is absolutely no credible evidence to support this, in our opinion, these allegations. The FBI agents had reported to their superiors that there was no basis for any further action, period,” he said.
He was invited for a speech in NGA in August 2015, by its Director, Robert Cardillo, a longtime friend of Knight. Cardillo received criticism for bringing someone like Knight, who is a coach for a talk at an agency that analyses imagery of the Earth’s surface and employs about 14,500 people.
Cardillo has apologised for his decision, saying that he ‘bought the risk as he has known Knight to be brash.’
The Pentagon had assured the women that matter will be taken with all seriousness and that the perpetrator will be charged accordingly. However, one of the women has filed a case against NGA for denying promotion and getting a poor review for her performance post the complaints. Her case is still pending, The Washington Post reports.
The Daily Mail reported the women’s statements, saying that one of the women said Knight groped her on the buttocks shortly before he gave a speech to staffers at NGA. Another NGA employee accused Knight of touching her on the shoulder and commenting on the attractiveness of her legs as she drove him from Washington to the agency’s headquarters.
The third complaint illustrated Knight’s greeting a woman by putting his hands on the sides of her chest and lifting her off the ground.
A fourth woman said that Knight hit her on the buttocks after his speech, that was witnessed by another NGA employee.
Robert Cardillo offered to meet the four women after he was made aware of the situation. However, only one accepted the offer. But she said that Cardillo asked her to return to her daily life since the NGA cannot help her. These were, however, denied by Cardillo.
The case was passed on to the FBI after the US Army said that since Bob Knight has no military affiliations, the army cannot do anything.
After getting the case, no action was taken by the FBI up until April 2016, nine months after the first reporting of the incident. However, by then Knight was in the headlines for his strong support for Trump’s Presidential campaign.
Many weeks later, the FBI re-evaluated all witnesses and interviewed the women again after consulting with the prosecutors about the previous investigation.
The case was presented to the US Attorney Dana Boente and the judge asked the FBI to interview Knight, for a final decision. Night denied any wrongdoings and he said that he was unaware that there were any accusations against him of this nature. The officials were also greeted by the NGA director’s father, Richard Cardillo.
They came to the conclusion that not enough evidence to convict Knight for the accusations against him and no charges were filed. The Huffington Post reports that the infamous former Indiana University coach has faced repeated controversy over the course of his career, including multiple allegations that he has physically attacked, abused and intimidated people he worked around. He has also admitted to a temper problem.
Pic Credit: Huffington Post
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Jagriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV