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New allegation in John Chadima case

MADISON, Wis. -- Authorities have widened the investigation into a former Wisconsin athletic official John Chadima after a third adult male came forward with allegations of sexual impropriety.

Campus police have deemed the third allegation "credible," chancellor David Ward said Thursday. His statement did not describe the nature of the allegations, and a campus spokesman, citing the ongoing investigation, declined to comment further.

Chadima was placed on administrative leave from his position as associate athletic director Jan. 6 and resigned the same day. He apologized for what he called "a lapse in judgment" and said alcohol has controlled his life for the last few months.

"I will take full responsibility for my lack of judgment and actions that evening," he said at the time.

Ward urged anyone who may have been a victim or who has information about inappropriate conduct by Chadima to come forward. Those individuals can contact university police or Patrick Fiedler, a former Dane County judge who has been asked to head an internal investigation.

Chadima's attorney, Charles Giesen, said it was inappropriate for the chancellor to be soliciting complaints. Giesen said the tactic amounted to a "reckless campaign of character assassination" against his client, particularly because all three accusers have remained anonymous.

"It is irresponsible to make vague and unsubstantiated allegations and to vouch for the credibility of an anonymous accuser during an ongoing investigation," Giesen said in an email. "It is unfortunately Kafkaesque. Without knowing who the accuser is or what the accusation is, John Chadima has no meaningful opportunity to respond."

The previous two adult men who came forward said they didn't want to press charges. Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor of university relations, said he wasn't immediately aware whether the third person wanted Chadima to be charged.

Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne said no charges were immediately pending.

"We don't have anything referred to us" by investigators, he said, "so there's nothing for us to make a charging decision on."

Wisconsin officials have said that the Penn State scandal that came to light last fall prompted them to review protocols for reporting sexual assaults. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is accused of sexually assaulting young boys for years.

Chadima resigned after he was accused of sexually assaulting a male student at a Rose Bowl party.

Fiedler's report on that incident, released last month, said Chadima threw a party in his Los Angeles hotel room for university staff and student employees Dec. 30, three days before the Badgers played in nearby Pasadena.

The report said Chadima asked a male student employee to stay and have a drink with him. Chadima allegedly reached inside the student's pants and touched his genitals, and when the student slapped his hand away Chadima warned him, "I could have you fired," the report said.

Chadima attempted to gloss over the incident as "just joking around," according to the report.

State Rep. Stephen Nass, a Whitewater Republican who chairs the Assembly's higher education committee, has called on the university to investigate Chadima's entire tenure at the school and to review the athletic department's management.