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Kansas investigating massage therapist for female athletes

March 5, 2020 GMT

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence man recently charged with a child sex crime provided massage services to some University of Kansas women’s athletic teams since 2015, the school’s chancellor and athletics director said Thursday.

Chancellor Doug Girard and Athletic Director Jeff Long said in a statement that they were “deeply troubled” by initial findings of an internal inquiry into massage therapist Shawn O’Brien, 48.

O’Brien was charged Feb. 21 with one count of indecent liberties with a child connected to incidents that allegedly happened seven or eight years ago with one girl. O’Brien’s contract was nullified and he hasn’t worked with student-athletes since he was charged, according to the statement.

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The investigation is in it’s early stages and will continue, the statement said. The university is providing support for student-athletes, parents and staff who have been impacted by this therapist’s association with the university, according to the statement said.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported contracts it received through an open records request showed O’Brien provided massage therapy for women’s basketball, tennis, softball and soccer teams. However, the school officials’ statement did not say which teams had contracts with O’Brien.

The Journal-World reported O’Brien’s attorney, Philip Robert Sedgwick, did not respond to a message seeking comment.