University hires convicted sex offender to talk about sexual assault awareness

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EUGENE, Ore. – Some faculty and staff at the University of Oregon are upset with who the school hired to train athletes about sexual assault awareness last year.

KATU obtained a copy of the contract and discovered the speaker is a convicted sex offender.

“In fact, his only credential was that he’s a convicted sex offender. I don’t think that that’s enough,” said Carol Stabile, a professor at the university.

Stabile is a co-chair of the Faculty Senate Task Force on Sexual Violence, which formed after three Oregon basketball players were accused of sexual assault last spring.

She was outraged when she learned the school hired Adam Ritz in May of 2013.

“And I think that this is a huge, huge red flag,” she said.

He was paid $4,000 to speak to the football team about alcohol and sexual assault awareness.

Ritz was convicted of sexual battery 10 years ago after a woman who babysat his children accused him of sexual assault.

He lost his job as a radio DJ in Indiana but went on to give speeches about how to stay out of trouble at universities throughout the country.

He has also spoken to NFL teams.

His speeches include his conviction but critics don’t like his message.

“The message he sends is that this can happen to anyone and I simply don’t believe that the particular crime he was convicted of is something that can happen to anyone,” Stabile said.

Faculty and students have slammed administrators at other schools that have hired Ritz.

However, Ritz’s website features more than a dozen letters of recommendation from other schools.

His sexual assault conviction is brought up on the site in fine print.

“Having someone who has a sense of research on sexual violence and research on education. I think that those are really important. Those are the kinds of people that a research institution hires,” she said.

The station called and emailed Ritz for comment but did not hear back.