On June 3rd 2011, Angie Doe went to student/Staff happy hour. This is where she encountered Miguel Pinto. The two didn't know each other well but after a bit of conversation Pinto asked to borrow her phone. Angie agreed and went to use a nearby bathroom. When she returned she found Pinto accessing the internet on her phone. She angrily asked for the phone back. According to reports from The Verge
"He suddenly grabbed her buttocks. Shocked, she grabbed the phone and ran back into the happy hour. "It was absolutely terrifying to have a near stranger’s hands on my body," Angie says. "He had lured me into an isolated space. I was overtaken by fear since I had no idea what was going to happen next. When I ran away I didn’t know if he was going to follow me."In emails to the publication Pinto admits to the details of the evening. He even admits to using the phone as a lure to get her away from other party goers. Pinto asserts that Angie was laughing and chatting with him, and that she was flirting with him. According to pinto
"I got nervous on how to respond to her flirting signals and I grab her behinds."Angie however was not flirting. Laughing and chatting are what social events are for and even if she was flirting, why did he not ask for her phone number or ask her on a date instead?According to other female scientists who know him Pinto is very socially awkward and creepy. A former student even went so far as to say
" he had a reputation as a man you didn't want to be cornered by at a party."
The very next day Angie went to her adviser at the Smithsonian and reported the allegations against Pinto. Both Angie and the Adviser thought that their report to the EEO specialist Shandella Davis would constitute an official report. It did not. The Smithsonian follows federal guidelines for sexual assault reporting and Angie was supposed to have been referred to a specific SI office within 45 days to report her assault officially. Angie and her adviser were not aware of this stipulation and no one including the EEO officer Shandella Davis informed them of this. The lack of an official report would cause many problems for Angie in the upcoming months.
Over the next few months Angie met with several administrators and to her dismay the administrators ganged up on her. She met with Sangray, Cones and other administrators including Eric Woodward former Hillary Clinton aide. She was repeatedly told it was a misunderstanding. Angie recalls that Woodward even cited his association with Clinton as proof he was pro woman while repeating Pintos excuse that it was all a misunderstanding. She was then referred to Chandra Heilman, The Smithsonian ombudsman. Heilman told Angie repeatedly that Miguel Pinto is a great scientist and that this was his only incident of misconduct.
According to The Verge
"The administrators eventually realized they had to do something. In a lengthy email dated August 13th, 2014, Sangrey laid out a series of restrictions that could be put on Pinto’s movements in the museum, including specifying certain exits and entrances that he would use. But she also cautioned Angie to "avoid the areas where you would most likely find Miguel." Sangrey told Angie to "give us a heads up" if she wanted to attend an event where Pinto might be present. And on January 5th, 2015, after Angie told Sangrey that she would be in the museum for most of the following March, Sangrey emailed her that security would be alerted, "so you’re covered."
However on March 8 just before Angie was supposed to return to the Smithsonian Helgen sent an email to the administrators involved stressing the incident of sexual assault as "poor judgement and a mortifying misunderstanding" Helgen also included that he does not believe Miguel would act inappropriately again and that he had advised pinto to stay away from Angie however according to Tracey Cones the administration cannot restrict what events people could and could not attend at the Smithsonian.
On March 13, Angie attended another social gathering thrown by the institute and suddenly found Miguel standing right behind her. Angie reported the incident and Pinto was made to meet with Helgen. In this meeting he was reminded to adhere to professional behavior and was given a copy of the SI's harassment guidelines. This wasn't the end of the Smithsonian Institutes leniency for Pinto. According to reports from the verge
"The following June, when NMNH administrators realized that she would soon be returning, there was another flurry of emails. Brian Huber — then the chair of the paleobiology department, where the happy hours were held — wrote to Angie on June 8th, assuring her that "Miguel will be told he cannot set foot in Paleo again and that this issue will not just go away."
But by June 19th, Huber had apparently changed his mind. In an email addressed to Angie’s adviser and copied to Sangrey, Cones, and Helgen, he wrote: "Your statement assumes that Miguel Pinto is a sexual predator, but we don’t really know what happened. The fact that [Angie] did not file a report with the security office or police and did not claim that a ‘sexual assault’ occurred until long after their encounter is problematic." Huber added that "we need to be careful that we do not go too far and violate Miguel Pinto’s rights while at the same time [helping Angie] feel that she should not feel threatened when she is here."Angie reported all these incidents to the Smithsonian's office of the inspector general who found no violations of Smithsonian policies had occurred.