Former nonprofit teacher fires back about sexual harassment allegations
5:57 PM, Nov 1, 2017
5:57 PM, Nov 1, 2017
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - In a follow-up to a Team10 story from last week about sexual harassment allegations at a local nonprofit, the man who is accused is coming forward to try to clear his name.
Last week Team10 aired an emotional interview with San Diegan Angelique Williams, who claimed that Gregory Hamilton, a former teacher who works as a local pastor, repeatedly harassed her with unwanted sexual advances. Hamilton is now firing back.
"Read my lips. There has never been sexual harassment with Angelique Williams on any day on the face of this earth," he tells us. After cancelling on us multiple times before our original story aired, this week he finally agreed to do an on-camera interview to share his side of the story.
Williams was an adult student at San Diego's Second Chance nonprofit training program, where Hamilton was her job training instructor.
He also works as a pastor at Uptown Church of Christ. The church's website reads it first congregated under his leadership in 2009.
When we asked the nonprofit about the sexual harassment allegations, they sent back a statement that read in part, "We agree that what happened to Ms. Williams should not happen to anyone." It also read, "He was later terminated."
In the new interview, Hamilton tells us he never received anything from the nonprofit saying he was charged with sexual harassment. He says that before his termination, he had been threatening legal action against the nonprofit. "[It was] about the disparity of the treatment of African American people that come [to the nonprofit] compared to Latino people for assistance," he says.
Hamilton showed us a letter that he says he got from the nonprofit. It explains how he was terminated for not meeting the requirements of a performance improvement plan. There is no mention of harassment. In our initial story, he sent us a copy of another letter that he says he got from the nonprofit. It was a confidential separation agreement with a severance payment of $2,760.00. There was also no mention of harassment. When we had asked Second Chance about the separation agreement and severance, they declined to comment, citing privacy issues.
Williams firmly believes Hamilton sexually harassed her. She says he'd inappropriately touch her, repeatedly call her, and send suggestive text messages.
Hamilton maintains it was Williams who advanced on him. Not the other way. He says his only intention was a friendship. He would not show us most of the text exchanges between the two of them, adding he would save those to show in court.
We asked Second Chance for an explanation as to why harassment was not included as a basis for the termination in the letter he showed us. As of air time this Wednesday, Second Chance wrote it was unavailable for comment.
Below is one of the statements Second Chance issued to us before the original story aired.
"Second Chance strives to ensure all members of our community have the means to achieve self-sufficiency, regardless of gender, age, race, or criminal history. Our organization maintains and adheres to a zero-tolerance policy for harassment and takes appropriate measures, including maintaining written policies, providing training, and promptly addressing any allegations made to the organization to ensure all individuals are provided an environment that is professional and free from harassment. Additionally, all potential employees undergo multiple pre-employment screenings, and state and federal background checks must be satisfactorily completed before an individual begins working for our organization. The situation in question was promptly addressed by the organization in full accordance with our policies. Out of consideration for the privacy interests of those involved and our legal obligations, we cannot further comment on the specifics of this situation."
Hamilton sent us a text on Wednesday stating he plans to start a support group called #NotMe for men and women who have been accused of offenses they did not commit and subsequently suffer psychologically, emotionally, financially and socially.