September 30, 2014

University of Oregon hired sex offender to talk sexual assault awareness to athletes

9-30-2014 Oregon:

KATU’s On Your Side Investigators have learned a convicted sex offender was hired by the University of Oregon to talk to athletes about sexual assault.

A contract obtained by KATU says Adam Ritz was paid $4,000 to give the football team alcohol and sexual assault awareness training.

Ritz was convicted of sexual battery 10 years ago after a woman who babysat his kids accused him of sexual assault. He lost his job as a radio DJ in Indiana but went on to give talks about how to stay out of trouble at universities throughout the country. He’s also spoken to NFL teams. In the talks, he does bring up his conviction.

UO Professor Carol Stabile was outraged when she recently learned the school hired Ritz in May of 2013.

Stabile is a co-chair of the Faculty Senate Task Force to Address Sexual Violence and Survivor Support, which formed last spring after three UO basketball players were accused of sexual assault.

"The message he sends is that this can happen to anyone,” Stabile said, “and I simply don't believe that the particular crime he was convicted of can happen to anyone."

Stabile's not alone. Faculty and students have slammed administrators at other schools that have hired Ritz.

Ritz's website, however, features more than a dozen letters of recommendation from other schools. His sexual assault conviction is brought up on the site in small print.

KATU’s On Your Side Investigators called Ritz and emailed him, but so far he has not responded.

KATU asked UO’s interim president several questions about Ritz and got a response from a spokesman saying, “Adam Ritz is a nationally renowned public speaker on the topic of alcohol and drug awareness and the consequences of poor decisions. His personal experience is a critical component of his message.”

The talk by Ritz was one of four sex assault awareness presentations given to the football team last year.

The basketball team, meanwhile, only attended one group seminar, an hour-long talk on “healthy relationships,” according to documents released by the UO athletic department. ..Source..w/Video.. by Joe Douglass

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