The tale of National Coalition Against Violent Athletes head Kathy Redmond received major play in Sunday’s New York Times, with Harvey Araton doing a fine job of chronicling Redmond’s work and the evolution of her relationship with husband / former Nebraska RB Derek Brown. Redmond’s work as an advocate/counselor for persons assaulted by some of college sports’ more entitled predators was the subject of a 1998 Times profile, but it’s her own attack at the hands of Cornhusker DT Christian Peter in 1991 that looms large in Araton’s story.
In a telephone interview from Lincoln, (former head coach / current Athletic Director) Tom Osborne disputed the view that he and the university were neglectful of their responsibilities in the Redmond case. Once the police decided not to press charges, he said, “I really didn’t have anything to hang my hat on.”
More folks came around to the realization that Redmond’s word held up well against Peter’s. She was not his only accuser. In 1993, Melissa DeMuth filed a complaint with the police accusing Peter of sexual assault. That year, he was also arrested for grabbing Natalie Kuijvenhoven, a former Miss Nebraska, by the crotch in a crowded bar. He received 18 months of probation for sexual assault and was convicted four times of various offenses. His only apparent punishment by Osborne and the football program was to be held out of a spring game.
“I didn’t want a lot of negative consequences to result,” Osborne said, while acknowledging that he might have taken a tougher tack with players who straddled or crossed the criminal line.