Cody Butler, Boise State women’s basketball assistant coach, is facing a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and abuse of a female player at his previous job. Butler has been placed on leave since January 2nd, 2020.
Lawsuit Allegations Dating Back to 2000
Butler has been in employment of Boise State since 2012. He was sued May 2019 by a women’s basketball player who was coached by him at his earlier job in Yakima Valley College. Butler was the assistant coach at Yakima Valley for both men’s and women’s from 2000 to 2002. He was made the co-head coach in 2002 and the head coach in 2003 for the women’s team.
Allegations in the sexual harassment lawsuit are from a woman on the Yakima Valley women’s basketball team who was coached by Butler from 2001 to 2003.
Butler Placed on Leave
Butler was placed on administrative leave by the Boise State after university’s knowledge of the lawsuit became public. Boise State athletic department claimed that the assistant coach was immediately placed on leave upon discovery of the sexual harassment allegations. The matter is pending university review.
The lawsuit was filed in Olympia, Washington on May 22nd, 2019 and names Butler, the state of Washington, and Yakima Valley College as defendants.
Butler Made Persistent Inappropriate Contact
The plaintiff has alleged sexual harassment and abuse, including inappropriate comments about various body parts, such as her “behind” and inappropriate touching during office meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions.
The touching and comments began when the plaintiff was 17 years and still in high school during a ‘Jam On It youth basketball program’ in Sparks, Nevada. Butler has denied all allegations. However, a trial for the suit is set for 2021.
Sexual Harassment is Illegal in Idaho
Under the Idaho Human Rights Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sexual harassment is unlawful. It can include requests for sexual favors, unwanted sexual advances, and other harassment of a sexual nature (verbal or physical). Sexual harassment does not always have to be of a sexual nature, which makes it necessary to speak with a sexual harassment attorney.
The victim and harasser can be of any gender, whether opposite or same sex for a viable sexual harassment lawsuit. However, it’s vital that victims consult with sexual harassment lawyers about their rights and available options.
It is illegal for a co-worker to engage in persistent behavior, even if non-sexual in nature, if it creates an offensive or a hostile work environment. This is true for isolated incidents as well that are not serious or severe in nature.