Head diving coach at Harvard University placed on leave over sexual misconduct allegations

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) - A coach at Harvard University was placed on leave Tuesday amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

The allegations against the school’s head diving instructor were detailed in a federal lawsuit filed in Indiana by female athletes who were coached by Chris Heaton in 2015, according to court documents.

Though not named as a defendant, Heaton, 31, is said to have solicited nude photos from the athletes, in addition to sending inappropriate photos of himself to the victims while at an Indiana diving academy, the documents indicated.

“Harvard Athletics was unaware of any allegations of misconduct when Mr. Heaton was hired as the Head Coach for Diving in August 2018,” university spokeswoman Rachael Dane said in a statement. “Upon learning of allegations of sexual misconduct from media reports, Harvard immediately placed Mr. Heaton on leave, pending a review by Harvard University.”

Heaton must stay away from the university while officials review the allegations against him.

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