Second allegation of sexual misconduct surfaces against UNCW soccer coach

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A letter New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David sent the State Bureau of Investigation regarding UNCW Women’s Soccer Coach Paul Cairney reveals a second woman accused the Cairney of sexual misconduct.

The letter reveals UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson contacted the district attorney regarding two reports of sexual misconduct against the soccer coach.

According to the letter, the first allegation, which became public knowledge last month, was made in 2007 regarding a 1994 incident. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office investigated and no charges were filed. UNCW Police was not notified about the investigation.

The 2007 complaint resurfaced when the alleged victim filed a Title IX complaint with UNCW.

The second allegation arose in May of 2004 when a young woman emailed a member of the Athletic Department alleging sexual misconduct by Cairney.

Her email was forwarded to University administrators, who did not report the matter to UNCW Police or any other law enforcement agency. David’s letter states the matter was closed by the administration after one week. Attorneys for UNCW rediscovered the 2004 email while preparing the Title IX response. They notified UNCW Police, who notified David.

David says on February 2, he reached out to the Sheriff’s Office and requested the file of their 2007 investigation. He and prosecutors met with UNCW Police to review the internal investigation of the 2004 complaint.

Now that both allegations have come to light, David feels that a comprehensive investigation is warranted.

David says the safety of UNCW students is top priority, so if the investigation uncovers any current threat to the safety of the campus community, Chief Donaldson should be notified directly at the first instance.

The letter confirms that Chief Donaldson and Sheriff Ed McMahon joined the DA’s office in the request for assistance.

Patty McQuillan with the State Bureau of Investigation confirms the SBI is currently investigating.

We reached out to UNCW spokeswoman Janine Iamunno to ask why UNCW administrators did not alert campus police to the email from 2004 and whether this is normal procedure. She said UNCW can not answer those questions as they pertain to an ongoing personnel inquiry.

“UNCW’s Title IX investigation remains open and ongoing,” Iamunno wrote in an email. “As part of that investigation, the university continues to review the way the 2004 matter was addressed.  We are fully cooperating with the SBI and have no further comment at this time.”

Cairney remains on paid administrative leave.



Categories: Local, New Hanover

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *