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KU terminates contract with therapist accused of child sex crime

Man worked with women's athletic teams
University of Kansas
Posted at 5:18 PM, Mar 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 18:18:25-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Kansas on Thursday said it has terminated the contract of an independent massage therapist accused of a child sex crime.

In a message to students posted online, KU said the school learned of the charges against the man after a local media report. The university said the man, who was not named by the school, has been charged with one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

According to Douglas County records, Shawn O'Brien, 48, was charged in connection with incidents that happened between June 2013 and June 2014. The incidents involved a child under 14 years of age.

The charges were first reported by the Lawrence Journal-World.

After learning of the charges, KU said it reached out to student-athletes and began an internal investigation into the therapist’s work at the university.

The man has provided massage therapy services to some women’s athletic teams as an independent contractor, according to the university.

"Though still in the early stages of this process, we are deeply troubled by what we have learned so far," KU wrote in the message to students. “At this time, we are providing support to our student-athletes, parents and staff who have been impacted by this therapist’s association with the university.”

KU said it will continue to investigate the conduct of the therapist and whether anyone knew of inappropriate behavior that may have occurred.