Trump accuser is northern Ohio native, BGSU employee

CLYDE - Rachel Crooks, one of five women who said this week that Donald Trump made unwanted physical advances on them, is a 2001 graduate of Clyde High School.

Crooks told The New York Times that she was infuriated after hearing Trump assert in Sunday night's presidential debate that his lewd comments recorded on an "Access Hollywood" video in 2005 were "locker room talk" and "just words," and that he never acted that way.

Crooks said she was 22 years old and working as a receptionist at a real estate firm in Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2005 when she introduced herself to Trump and the real estate baron began kissing her cheeks and "kissed me directly on the mouth."

"It was so inappropriate," Crooks told the Times. "I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that."

On the 2005 tape, made public on Oct. 7, Trump tells "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush that when he sees attractive women, "I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."

Crooks is originally from Green Springs, and went to St. Mary's Elementary School before attending Clyde High, according to family friend John Brewer.

Nancy Hanger, who coached volleyball at Clyde for 30 years, said Crooks was one of the top players she ever coached.

"Rachel was an outstanding athlete. She played varsity volleyball for four years and also played basketball and track. Not only was she an outstanding athlete, she was an outstanding person — a hard worker, maybe on the shy side in personality, but very well respected and liked in school."

Hanger said when she saw Crooks quoted in the Times, "my initial thought was that this is probably not something she particularly would want to talk about. But I could understand her anger over what Donald Trump had said, that he had never done these things.

"She has great courage in saying anything at all because just like anybody who puts their name out there in the public, there's going to be consequences and repercussions. I have tremendous admiration for what she has done. We adore Rachel here and we love her and her family. I have no doubt that she's being truthful and that this did happen to her," Hanger said.

John Cahill, former Clyde basketball coach, said Crooks was a standout athlete in three sports, making first-team All-Ohio in basketball and volleyball and competing in the state finals in track as a freshman.


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