NC State faces federal lawsuit following sexual misconduct within men's soccer progra

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According to a breaking news story from the Durham Herald-Sun, former NC State men's soccer player Benjamin Locke has accused NC State of failing to protect students from the sexual harassment of a former trainer.

Robert M. Murphy Jr., who worked at the University as an athletic trainer from 2012 to 2022, is accused of taking advantage of his position by sexually harassing and abusing his players under the guise of treatment.

A federal lawsuit against Murphy and the University says campus athletic officials were grossly negligent for their failure to act against Murphy when former men's soccer head coach Kelly Findley reported his concerns on or before February 2016. NC State confirmed Murphy violated the University's sexual harassment policy while treating Locke.

Locke played soccer at NC State from 2015 to 2017 but never appeared in a match due to an injury to his lower legs. This led him to seek assistance from Murphy, who Locke says touched him in inappropriate places, watched him undress and take a shower, and gave painful massages that left Locke bruised.

During his time at NC State, Locke described numerous nonconsensual sexual contacts with Murphy during his training and rehab sessions. Murphy, who was described as controlling every part of Locke's rehabilitation process, had also delayed Locke's referral to a licensed doctor, significantly delaying his recovery and healing process.

Locke only realized what happened to him in his time at NC State after he transferred to Lipscomb University in 2017. His interactions with trainers at Lipscomb showed him that Murphy's actions were invasive and inappropriate.

Locke is seeking financial damages and asking the court to require NC State to take steps to prevent future abuse and to identify and notify all of Murphy's potential victims.

"People like Rob don't act one time and then decide to stop all of a sudden," Locke said in an interview with the Durham Herald-Sun. "They have a track record and they are repeat offenders, and I really believe there could be many, many other student athletes that had similar experiences, worse experiences."
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I've always maintained that soccer is an unAmerican game that shouldn't have been allowed a foothold in this country.
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