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Thursday, May 26, 2022

New details on claims against Chadima emerge

 The university revealed the details of two sexual misconduct accusations against former Associate Athletic Director John Chadima in a second report

Friday, involving a former football player and a second student employee.

Former Dane County Judge Patrick Fiedler investigated the allegations made after his independent, university-commissioned report on the first sexual misconduct allegation against Chadima was released January 23.

The first report investigated allegations of Chadima’s attempted sexual assault of an Athletic Department student employee during the 2012 Rose Bowl weekend.

“Upon review of the second report — and further review of the first report — it is clear to me that our decision to remove Mr. Chadima from his workplace and conduct independent investigations was the prudent course of action,” Chancellor David Ward said in a statement Friday.

Though no additional accounts of sexual misconduct were found, all accusations made against Chadima involved encounters where the victims were alone with him, the report said.   

A former student employee of the Athletic Department made the first of these allegations. He was first approached at an employee party held in Chadima’s hotel suite during the Badgers’ participation in an unspecified bowl game in the 2000s. According to the report, Chadima approached the student and groped his “inner buttocks.”

Chadima continued to pursue the student in Madison, making both sexually inappropriate physical and verbal advances in and around Camp Randall Stadium, the report said.

A former UW-Madison football player made the second allegation, claiming that Chadima made several sexually explicit comments to him when he visited Madison in 2010 for a football game.

The player had been drinking throughout the day, according to the report, and had spent time with former players and Chadima in a room off of the team’s locker room where “alcohol and mixers were available.”

Chadima offered to give the former player a ride when the group decided to head to the bars. Rather than ending up downtown, however, the ride took him to Chadima’s house. According to the player, Chadima was driving  “too fast” for him to escape the car. When Chadima complimented the player’s buttocks, the player went on “high alert,” according to the report.

The player locked himself in Chadima’s bathroom once asked to stay the night, and escaped after discovering him passed out on a bed.

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Fiedler and his assistants interviewed 30 people in the second investigation, including Athletic Director Barry Alvarez, head football coach Bret Bielema and a number of other individuals associated with the three allegations and the athletic department.

Many spoke highly of Chadima in the report, describing him as a friend and as committed to the university. None of the individuals questioned had ever heard anything about his alleged sexual misconduct or abuse of power.

Chadima’s attorney Charles Giesen responded to the nature of the anonymous accusations in a statement following the report’s release Friday, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“It is regrettable that the university has given the weight it did to these anonymous allegations…It is implausible to believe that a 20-something former college football player would cower and lock himself in a bathroom because of a claimed fear of a 5-foot, 9-inches tall, 170-pound 45-year-old man who was supposedly intoxicated,” Giesen said in an e-mail to the Journal-Sentinel.

Chadima issued his first response to the entire ordeal Friday ahead of the report’s release, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

“The words [of support from family and friends] have fueled my commitment to seek help through counseling, in particular for alcohol, stress management and especially faith-based guidance,” Chadima said in Friday’s statement to the Journal-Sentinel.

The university will conduct an internal review of campus alcohol policies in light of the second report, Ward said in Friday’s statement.

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