Nate Parker was reportedly once accused of exposing himself to a female student trainer while on the wrestling team at Penn State University.
According to The New York Times, allegations against Parker were uncovered in connection with the state attorney general’s office’s investigation into former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. One of three former university officials charged with failing to report Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children was reportedly involved with how the university handled the exposure complaint against Parker.
Prosecutors are reportedly trying to determine if former athletic director Tim Curley’s handling of Parker’s alleged behavior suggests a history of inaction by the athletic department when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct.
The student trainer has accused Parker of paying her unwanted attention during her time working with the wrestling team. In an interview with the Times, she alleges that while giving Parker a routine back treatment, the then-student turned over and exposed himself.
“I was shaken,” she told the paper. “I was crying.”
Though she reported the incident to the athletic department and allegedly even had a meeting with Curley, she decided not to formally press charges.
“It was my decision not to report,” she said.
Parker was reportedly not reprimanded for the alleged incident.
“This is the first Mr. Parker has ever heard of this,” Parker’s lawyer David J. Matlof told the Times. “He recognizes the seriousness of the issue, but this claim is completely untrue.”
According to the paper, Parker faces no legal ramifications and has no direct connection to the case against the university officials. It is also unclear whether or not Parker’s alleged incident will be introduced in Sandusky’s upcoming trial.
This is the second time Parker’s behavior during his time at Penn State has come under scrutiny. The director found himself in the middle of a media firestorm early this summer after news of his involvement in a rape case resurfaced ahead of the release of his film Birth of a Nation.
While a student at Penn State University in 1999, he and his friend Jean Celestin — who is listed as a collaborator on Birth of a Nation — were both accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old female classmate.
Parker was charged, tried and subsequently acquitted. Celestin, who was also charged, was convicted and sentenced to six to 12 months in prison. A judge ordered a second trial following an appeal and the case was tossed out in 2005 after the accuser decided not to testify. In August, reports surfaced that their accuser died by suicide in 2012 at the age of 30.
While the actor has largely avoided speaking about the case during his press tour for the film, he has maintained his innocence. During an interview on 60 Minutes, he said he was “falsely accused,” adding: “I was vindicated. I was proven innocent.”