Layshia Clarendon Says She Was Sexually Assaulted By Cal Staffer

Layshia Clarendon, an All-Star guard in the WNBA for the Atlanta Dream, is filing suit against Mohamed Muqtar, an employee of Cal-Berkeleys athletic department that has been working on the campus for more than 25 years.

Muqtar, the assistant athletic director for student services, graduated from the school in 1987 with a degree in economics.

Cal’s athletic department released a statement saying the university is aware of the complaint, “but has not received a copy of the lawsuit nor had the benefit of reviewing the allegations.”

“Cal Athletics is and will always be committed to fostering a culture where everyone feels safe, welcome and respected,” the school said in the statement. “Layshia holds a special place in our history for her contributions to Cal women’s basketball both on and off the court and we are saddened to hear of the allegations that are coming to light today.”

Clarendon played at Cal from 2009 to 2013.

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According to Clarendon, Muqtar is known as “The Mayor” on the Cal campus and frequently hangs out with student-athletes off campus, often paying for dinners. Clarendon said Muqtar invited her back to his apartment when she was 18, where he allegedly followed her into the bathroom and assaulted her.

When asked what prompted the lawsuit, Clarendon told Outside the Lines: “I want the shame to not be my own anymore. I want the shame to fall on him, because it’s not my shame to carry, but it’s something that I’ve had to carry. It’s a horrible thing to live in silence, to carry that pain and that weight and the guilt.”

Outside the Lines spoke with a second former athlete at the school who graduated in 2006, and who said Muqtar engaged in inappropriate behavior with her as well.

Kate Fagan on Twitter

WNBA All-Star @Layshiac has filed a lawsuit against University of California, alleging sexual assault by longtime athletic dep. employee Mohamed Muqtar. Muqtar is named as a defendant and suit claims negligence against Cal. More details from @OTLonESPN:

The anonymous athlete did not report the incident at the time. However, OTL says it was able to corroborate her claim with others.

Additionally, a former Cal instructor who frequently worked with student-athletes said that numerous student-athletes confided her about what they alleged was inappropriate behavior by Muqtar. During her tenure, she said she twice approached athletic department officials with concerns about Muqtar. On both occasions, the instructor said she was told that nothing could be done unless the women were willing to come forward with details.

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“The days of men in power, sexually assaulting women for their own personal gratification and without any fear of consequence, are over,” said Jennifer Bandlow, a partner at The Cochran Firm who represents Clarendon. “What happened to Layshia is reprehensible and disgusting and should not happen to any woman ever again.”

Clarendon said the overarching goal of the lawsuit was accountability.

“My biggest hope is that he never does this to anyone else,” said Clarendon, who led Cal to its only Final Four in 2013. “That no one else has to suffer under his hand, or him violating their bodies again. That this would be the end of him assaulting people. And so it feels there is a big level of responsibility there for me, to make sure this doesn’t continue. And he doesn’t continue to harm other people.”

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