Second allegation of sexual misconduct against UNCW soccer coach surfaces

Second allegation of sexual misconduct against UNCW soccer coach surfaces
Distirct Attorney Ben David announced Friday no criminal charges will be filed against former UNCW women's soccer coach Paul Cairney, who was accused of sexual misconduct.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A second allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against longtime UNCW women's soccer coach Paul Cairney, District Attorney Ben David's letter to the State Bureau of Investigation reveals.

The allegation arose in May 2004 when a young woman emailed a member of the Athletic Department, David wrote.

However, university administration closed the investigation into the matter after one week, and "did not report the matter to UNCW Police or any other law enforcement agency," according to David.

This second claim was discovered by the university's legal counsel during the course of an investigation into Cairney, who was placed on leave in early December after a separate, decades-old allegation against him resurfaced on social media. The letter does not state who received that email.

The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office investigated that allegation, which reportedly occurred at a soccer camp in 1997, in 2007, but closed the case after the alleged victim declined to pursue charges. The sheriff's office did not notify the university of the investigation, according to officials. In January, a spokesperson for the sheriff's office said they could not explain why that information was not shared with the university since it was a different administration in charge in 2007.

In addition to taking to social media, the alleged victim recently filed a Title IX complaint with the university, whose inquiry into the matter is ongoing.

David requested the SBI probe into both allegations after being contacted by UNCW's police chief Feb. 2.

"Now that both allegations have come to light, I feel that a comprehensive investigation by an outside agency is warranted," David wrote in the letter dated Feb. 5.

"Since both the 2004 and 2007 complaints involve a UNCW employee, it is necessary that any victims have the opportunity to speak freely with independent investigators, so as not to create a chilling effect," David continued.

A university spokesperson denied our request for an interview on this latest development, but issued the following statement.

UNCW's Title IX investigation remains open and ongoing. As part of that investigation, the university continues to review the way the 2004 matter was addressed.  We are fully cooperating with the SBI and have no further comment at this time.

The spokesperson declined to identify the university employee who received the 2004 email or provide if that person was still employed with the university, citing the ongoing investigation.

Asked if procedures were followed when the 2004 complaint was received, the spokesperson said the university's current policy did not exist then, and that part of the current investigation, which could include the actions of former employees, involves reviewing the processes that existed in that time frame.

Note: David's letter states the 2007 complaint was made in reference to a 1994 incident, however he has since corrected that to 1997.

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