The allegation against the “Birth of a Nation” director was never reported to police, but could figure in an upcoming prosecution of university officials, according to the report.
A rape allegation from Parker’s college days received renewed scrutiny in the lead-up to the October release of the film, which he wrote, directed and starred in. The film sold to Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival. Though Parker was acquitted in 2001 of raping a fellow Penn State undergrad, the issue nevertheless dogged him on his press tour. Parker struggled to respond, at times acknowledging his own “toxic masculinity” and the evolution in his understanding of consent while also maintaining his innocence. The film sputtered at the box office, taking in just $14.4 million to date.
According to the New York Times, the alleged exposure occurred in November 2000, a little more than a year after the alleged rape. Parker had been suspended from the Penn State wrestling team after the rape charge was filed, but had returned that fall. The trainer, who was not named, told the Times that Parker had been “zeroing in” on her for some time, to the point where she asked her boyfriend to walk her home at night.
During a back treatment, Parker allegedly turned around to face the woman and exposed the top half of his penis, she told the Times. “I was shaken,” she said. “I was crying.”
Parker’s attorney told the paper the claim was “completely untrue.”
The woman was recently interviewed by investigators from the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office. The state is prosecuting three former Penn State officials for allegedly failing to act on allegations against Jerry Sandusky, the former football coach now serving a 30-60 year prison sentence for abusing underage boys.
In anticipation of that trial, state investigators recently began examining the university’s handling of Parker’s rape case, according to the Times. Investigators are also looking into the exposure allegation to see whether the university should have taken action against Parker. Parker was ultimately suspended from the wrestling team a second time, and transferred to the University of Oklahoma.
Parker faces no legal jeopardy from the new allegation, and it is not even clear that it will be used in the prosecution of the Penn State officials.