Penn State vs Columbia

Head coach Wes Glon instructs Matthew Lewicki before the game against Columbia at White Building on Sunday, January 15, 2017. Penn State men's fencing upset Columbia 14-13.

Penn State fencing coach Wes Glon is facing a three-year suspension from the U.S. Center for SafeSport following his failure to report sexual misconduct allegations against assistant coach George Abashidze, abuse of process and retaliation, according to the SafeSport website.

Jennifer Oldham, owner of Mid-South Fencers' Club in Durham, North Carolina, alleged on a Dec. 12, 2017 flight from Portland, Oregon, an intoxicated Abashidze seated next to her persisted with "sexual overtures" for several hours, which eventually escalated to physical assault.

Oldham accused the two coaches of attempting to intimidate her into silence, as they allegedly told her no one would believe her and implied they would "make sure of that."

She also alleged Glon insisted Abashidze apologize to her, which would be "sufficient for [Oldham] to drop the matter," Glon allegedly said.

Abashidze was placed on administrative leave by Penn State prior to his 10th year as an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions in September 2018.

Oldham claims Glon and Abashidze launched a "defamation campaign" against her in the competitive fencing world in 2018, leading to online and in-person harassment from colleagues that has continued to the present.

Oldham revised her allegations to account for defamation in an affidavit filed June 15 in Pennsylvania Middle District Court against Penn State, Glon, Abashidze and Title IX coordinator Christopher Harris.

"I was made to feel unwelcome at social gatherings following competitive events," Oldham wrote in her affidavit, "an important aspect of forging professional bonds in the tight-knit circle of fencing."

Following his suspension by SafeSport, a nonprofit organization seeking to end abuse within American Athletics, Glon was added to a list of individuals under temporary suspension from USA Fencing.

Effective Aug. 16, Glon is prohibited for three years from participating in any capacity in events affiliated with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies recognized by the USOPC, a "Local Affiliated Organization" and any Paralympic sports Organization, according to a message from USA Fencing.

Glon's suspension has not been finalized by SafeSport and is subject to appeal.

The incident also sparked a 3-year suspension for Abashidze from USA Fencing in 2018, which was eventually reduced to a 1-year suspension.

SafeSport lists sexual misconduct and sexual harassment violations under Abashidze's name within its database of disciplinary records.

Along with Penn State's head fencing coach, Glon is also the head of the local Nittany Fencing Academy, a competitive fencing studio for early middle school students to high school seniors, according to its website.



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