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Swim Coach Accused Of Sexual Harassment

July 23, 1996

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ As U.S. Olympic swimming coach Skip Kenney continues to rack up the gold in Atlanta, a case that may tarnish that gold is brewing at home.

Former Stanford employee Margery Tate is suing Kenney for sexual harrassment. Tate claims Kenney claims made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 1994 and 1995.

Tate also alleges that when she rejected Kenney, he used his influence as Stanford’s men’s swimming coach to end her temporary job at the university.

Tate filed her suit Thursday, the day before the Olympics’ opening ceremonies. She is seeking lost wages and damages of more than $25,000.

A spokesman for Stanford called Tate’s allegations ``a non-case.″

``We believe the only reason the suit was filed is because this university and its coach are in the limelight right now,″ spokesman Terry Shepard said in a statement.

American swimmers have won 12 medals so far _ four gold, seven silver and a bronze.

Tate’s lawyer, William Warhurts, said the suit was filed last week because efforts to settle the case had failed and the statute of limitations was about to run out.

Kenney has been Stanford’s head men’s swimming coach since 1979 and has guided the team to six national championships.

Tate, of Menlo Park, had a temporary secretarial and data entry job at Stanford from January 1994 to June 1995, according to the suit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court. She did not work for Kenney, but Warhurst said Stanford’s policy does not require that relationship to exist before someone can claim harassment.

In her suit, Tate alleged that in making advances, Kenney tried to take advantage of his position and her desire to get a full-time marketing job with Stanford’s athletic department.

She also accused Stanford of not enforcing its own policy when she reported the alleged harassment.

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