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Lawyer of Rich Rodriguez's accuser speaks out for the first time

Posted at 9:47 PM, Jan 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-06 00:09:51-05

The lawyer for Melissa Wilhelmsen, Rich Rodriguez's accuser, spoke out on behalf of his client for the first time Friday night.

The coach of the Arizona football team was fired Tuesday night after claims from a former employee that he sexually harassed her and created a hostile work environment.

Augustine Jimenez, Wilhelmsen's lawyer, claims that investigators never spoke to his client during their initial investigation, and only followed up on Wilhelmsen's claims after she had quit her job.

Jimenez said in part tonight:

"Melissa's 'refusal' to participate in this investigation should be put in proper perspective: Melissa complained to the university about Rodriguez's conduct long before the investigation and, in fact, requested a transfer. That request was denied on the basis that a transfer would upset Rodriguez. It bears emphasizing that the university did not conduct an investigation at that time. Ultimately, and as a result, Melissa quit her job rather than continue to be subjected to further harassment."

Jimenez goes on to say the university did not conduct the investigation to protect Wilhelmsen but to protect themselves from harassment claims, and as a reason to fire Rodriguez with cause.

Rich Rodriguez has now hired an attorney, Leo Beus, and could take legal action of his own. Beus also represents the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Stay with KGUN9 and for more on this developing story.