Nate Parker Denies College Report of Indecent Exposure
Actor/filmmaker Nate Parker is denying a past indecent exposure allegation, insisting the incident never happened. The 36-year-old and his Birth of a Nation collaborator and former roommate Jean Celestin were accused of sexual assault by an 18-year-old female classmate while studying at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.
Parker was acquitted in a 2001 trial, while Celestin was initially found guilty and sentenced to serve six months behind bars. His conviction was later overturned following an appeal. The news of the rape trial resurfaced earlier this year, when Parker told Variety.com he had moved on from the troubled chapter in his life. However, the controversy has found its way into the headlines over and over again because of the acclaim Parker’s new film, Birth of a Nation, has been receiving. In August, the actor expressed his sorrow over the way he had handled the controversy, particularly after discovering his accuser had committed suicide in 2012, but he subsequently insisted he would not apologize for being acquitted. While Parker continues to insist he was falsely accused, the controversy has taken a new turn and he is now facing accusations of indecent exposure from his time at Penn State. A current investigation into how university officials handled former football coach Jerry Sandusky’s pedophilia scandal has prompted prosecutors to look into whether three former university officials failed to notice or report child sexual abuse allegations against Sandusky, who was convicted of molesting young boys in 2011. Documents pertaining to the investigation have since been unearthed, reportedly showing Parker was accused of exposing himself to a female student trainer, who subsequently declined to press charges. However, the actor’s attorney insists his client is unaware of the past allegations. “This is the first Mr. Parker has ever heard of this,” reads an email from Parker’s lawyer, David J. Matlof, to the New York Times. “He recognizes the seriousness of the issue, but this claim is completely untrue.” Prosecutors are not investigating Parker, but are instead trying to determine if the handling of his case is part of a bigger problem at the university’s athletic department when it comes to handling sexual misconduct claims.
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