Update on Shorter administrator, sexual battery complaint: The Rome Police Department has turned the case over to the GBI. Also: Humphries apparently has resigned, is off university’s website.

Update on Shorter administrator, sexual battery complaint: The Rome Police Department has turned the case over to the GBI. Also: Humphries apparently has resigned, is off university’s website.

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FRIDAY

The investigation into an employee’s sexual battery and harassing communication complaints against Shorter administrator Corey Humphries has been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

We have received confirmation from both the Rome Police Department — which did the initial investigation following reception of the complaint on Monday — and the GBI. Says Nelly Miles, GBI’s director of public affairs Nelly Miles: “Yesterday (Thursday), we received a request from Rome Police Department. We anticipate beginning an investigation next week. ”

It’s a strategic move given some of the relationships among those involved in the complaint.

THURSDAY

Changes are under way at Shorter University in the wake of the sexual battery complaint filed against Corey Humphries.

On Wednesday, numerous reports said Humphries had resigned and was to be off campus by Saturday. We did not get a response toour questions on his status from Shorter’s president, communications chief or attorney.

But what was obvious: Humphries has been removed from Shorter’s website as is shown in the twin images below, one from Tuesday and the other from Wednesday afternoon.

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We have calls into the Rome Police Department checking on the status of the investigation into a coworker’s complaint to police and will post that update as soon as we get a response.

Stories on the complaint continue to be picked up by Atlanta media and on Wednesday, WSB Channel 2 sent a crew to Rome. What follows is a link to the reporter’s interview — on air and with a separate story on the station’s website — with the woman who filed the complaint. It basically repeats what you’ve read here since Tuesday morning. She appears on camera but only from the back; the story identifies her. WSB link. We continue to respect basic media ethics by withholding the name of a potential sex crime victim but will communicate with her later today to see if she wants to be identified.

TUESDAY’S FIRST REPORTS

From Shorter University: “In response to this morning’s media reports regarding personnel matters at Shorter:  When the allegations of misconduct first arose, Shorter followed its standard policy, which is to initiate an investigation and to separate the employees involved.  Per Shorter policy, Shorter has thus far declined to comment on this personnel matter, and continues to decline to comment, pending the results of the investigation which is ongoing. When the investigation is complete, Shorter will take any appropriate action.” (1:10 p.m. post, Nov. 7)

POSTED AT 10 A.M. TUESDAY:

A sexual battery and harassing communication complaint has been filed with the Rome Police Department, alleging continuing misconduct by a senior member of the Shorter University administration.

Corey Humphries, vice president of student affairs at Shorter as well as the Title IX coordinator, is accused of being “handsy” with one of his direct report employees, massaging her shoulders, playing with her hair and touching “her inner thighs and private area with his hands,” according to the police report filed Monday afternoon.

The complainant says the assault happened in July as they and others worked out in the school gym, according to the police report. She says she immediately told Humphries to stop and left the gym. The report also documents verbal harassment from Humphries and occasions where she would be summoned to his office — alone — and asked why she had quit working out with him.

You can read a copy of the report narrative below. Because of the nature of the allegation — a sex crime — the victim’s name has been redacted by Hometown Headlines. 

We have had emails into Shorter’s administrators and attorneys for comment for more than a week — which was when we began to receive the first of more than a dozen calls, emails and texts about the allegations.

We asked the administration and attorney for additional comment Tuesday morning after picking up a copy of the police report.

From Shorter University: “In response to this morning’s media reports regarding personnel matters at Shorter:  When the allegations of misconduct first arose, Shorter followed its standard policy, which is to initiate an investigation and to separate the employees involved.  Per Shorter policy, Shorter has thus far declined to comment on this personnel matter, and continues to decline to comment, pending the results of the investigation which is ongoing. When the investigation is complete, Shorter will take any appropriate action.”

In the police report, the complainant states she filed a verbal complaint with human resources department and recounted a resulting meeting that included Humphries and the HR representative but adds “he continued to harass her the next day.” At that point, she says she tried to speak with President Don Dowless, adding that he had “an attorney take over the investigation.”

Hometown Headlines confirmed last week the office of attorney David Archer in Cartersville had been referred the case. A representative of the firm declined additional comment.

She also says the standard procedure for such a case was to put the person on leave until the investigation was completed. That hadn’t happened as of Monday, the day the report was filed with RPD.

She then filed a written complaint with human resources on Oct. 25, adding that the harassment was continuing through verbal communication as well as email.

She likewise noted that Humphries “suddenly began to be very callous toward her” with “an attitude and demeanor that he might physically harm her… (she) advised me that Mr. Humphries does carry a firearm.”

The report also states James Hall of the campus security team confirmed seeing Humphries  “be physical with (the complainant)” by “rubbing her shoulders, playing with her hair and even picking her up. ” Hall told the investigating officer he also witnessed the changed attitude toward the complainant and added that he, too, was concerned about possible physical harm to her. Hall noted that he began accompanying her around campus.

 

ABOUT COREY HUMPHRIES

Media release on his hiring from Shorter dated July 2012: Corey Humphries has been named Vice President of Student Affairs at Shorter University. Humphries will serve as the senior administrator in Shorter’s Student Affairs division and as a member of the President’s Council.

He will provide direct supervision for student support services, residence life, judicial programs, student activities, intramurals, new student orientation, student health services, campus safety, and campus ministries.

Humphries comes to Shorter from Charleston Southern University, where he served as Assistant Dean of Campus Life. He had been employed at Charleston Southern University since 2005. Beginning work there as Residence Life Coordinator, he went on to serve as Director of Residence Life and as Assistant Dean of Campus Life. As assistant dean, he oversaw the work of the directors of security, campus activities, and campus recreation in addition to retaining his previous responsibilities for the area of residence life.
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