Gesser resigned from his job as an assistant athletic director at WSU. “I am deeply saddened that recent circumstances in my private life have created a distraction for the department and university,” he wrote in a statement.
Embattled former Washington State quarterback Jason Gesser resigned Tuesday from his job as an assistant athletic director at WSU after revelations from an investigation and other women who reported inappropriate sexual encounters with him.
A story last week in the WSU student newspaper, The Daily Evergreen, uncovered a litany of allegations. Those reports prompted Gesser’s former nanny to go public Monday with what she described as unwanted sexual advances toward her three years ago.
Gesser, 39, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“I am deeply saddened that recent circumstances in my private life have created a distraction for the department and university,” Gesser wrote. “While I certainly never intended to hurt anyone, I believe it is best for all involved for me to move on.”
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Gesser, who set records as a quarterback for the Cougars from 1999 to 2002, thanked former athletic director Bill Moos and late president Elson Floyd for giving him the chance to return in 2013 to his school.
“I apologize to each of you for creating a situation that reflected negatively on WSU in any way,” Gesser wrote.
The resignation comes one day after WSU put Gesser on leave after a former student-athlete filed a formal complaint and made public her interactions with Gesser after she moved from Pullman.
Alyssa Bodeau, whose maiden name is Wold, worked for 1 1/2 years as a baby-sitter and nanny for Gesser’s three children before an encounter in 2015.
Bodeau, 27, said she filed the official complaint with the WSU Office for Equal Opportunity after reading about other allegations brought against Gesser.
“When I saw that it was a pattern, that’s when I decided, ‘I’m not going to stay quiet.’ If it doesn’t stop now … other girls will be in danger,” Bodeau said.
Bodeau said Gesser invited her out for drinks after a fundraiser in Tumwater in June 2015. She said when she was in her car, Gesser made several unwanted advances, grabbed her thigh and tried to kiss her.
“I’m extremely happy to see that Jason has resigned his position of influence and power at WSU. It’s a relief to know that no other young women will be subjected to Mr. Gesser’s actions and abuse of power,” Bodeau wrote in a statement. “I pray he gets the help he needs and that his family can move forward.”
Without naming Bodeau, it appeared Gesser was referencing her in his statement.
“To the young woman that I made feel uncomfortable, I respectfully have a different recollection of the situation you’ve described,” he wrote, “but acknowledge that I should never have been in the situation in the first place, and I apologize. I truly never meant to cause you harm.”
Gesser, who was making $84,000 this year, said he remains a proud supporter of WSU and the community.
“This is a very difficult time for me and my family,” he wrote, “and I truly appreciate our friends, including the incredible colleagues and alumni I have met through my time at WSU. With this personal matter being made so public, it is taking a toll on my family in this close-knit community.
“I appreciate your understanding for the impact this has on them.”
Bodeau also thanked the “Coug nation” for showing support for putting her name to the allegation and going public.
“Staying silent is no longer an option. If my story resonates with you, come forward,” she wrote. “Bring it to light so that we all — as a community — can begin the healing process.”
A statement from WSU President Kirk Schulz and athletic director Pat Chun said: “The University has accepted Mr. Gesser’s resignation effective immediately. We sincerely appreciate the courage it takes for individuals to come forward with concerns of this nature. We take the allegations extremely seriously, and the Office for Equal Opportunity intends to continue its investigation.”
WSU football coach Mike Leach seemed to know little about Gesser’s situation after practice Tuesday.
“I didn’t know he resigned, so that’s news to me,” Leach said. “I overheard some of the stuff reported but from what I know, it’s just word of mouth, so I don’t know. Hopefully, none of it’s true.”
Gesser issued a statement last week denying any allegations of sexual misconduct. He took a softer tone in his resignation letter.
Gesser resigned shortly after The Spokesman-Review informed him Tuesday the newspaper intended to run another article in which a woman would detail a separate sexual encounter with him in 2015 in Moscow, Idaho.
Lindsey Streets, 34, who now lives in North Carolina, said Tuesday she was working in Moscow three years ago as a masseuse and Gesser was one of her clients.
Streets said Gesser called her one day and asked if she could work him into her schedule, which she did.
“It was towards the end of the massage. He had complained of groin pain, which isn’t unusual,” Streets said. “But when I was working on the upper portion of his leg, he moved the blanket” and exposed himself. “And he tried, with his eyes still closed, to reach for my hand. I just stopped. I was petrified.”
Streets covered Gesser back up and left the room. “I was very afraid,” she said. “I didn’t confront him about it. I let him leave, and I called the cops.”
Streets said Moscow police officers took her statement and later told her they spoke to Gesser, who said the $40 tip he left behind wasn’t hush money but a gift to Streets for working him into her busy schedule.
The officers later explained it was his word against hers and they never pursued charges. However, Streets said they gave the business a placard that stipulated Gesser was not allowed inside the business for one year.
On Monday, a friend sent her a link to the story about Bodeau’s allegations stemming from the fundraiser in Tumwater.
“When I found out that she was his nanny at a similar time that he had this behavior with me, it really just validated my experience that this was going on at that time,” Streets said.
“It’s terrifying. Especially up there. It’s a small town,” she continued. “The circles are very close and it’s very difficult to have things attached to your name in a place like that.”
And Gesser was not just an average customer.
“He’s Mr. WSU coach. Nobody is going to take him down,” Streets said. “Knowing that there are others gives me the confidence to support (Bodeau) and other women to come forward.”