How to file Sport coach sexual abuse lawsuit In 2024 - Involving Trainers and Schools

Despite being  physically and mentally beneficial, the culture in many sports and sports organizations provide opportunities for certain individuals to exploit power and authority. Unfortunately, this power and authority give rise to sexual abuse in sports. Sexual abuse can bring lifelong trauma to victims, especially women and youth. Sexual abuse should never be tolerated. If you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse in sports involving coaches, you should do the right thing and file a sexual abuse claim at the earliest possible time. Not only will it help make the abuser liable, but a sport coach sexual abuse lawsuit could also deter other abusers from doing what they did to you to others.

Our coach sexual abuse lawyers are here to help you every step of the way. Start by reading this comprehensive guide to getting a fair sports coach sexual abuse settlement.

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Sexual abuse in sports: gruesome numbers

Sexual abuse in sports is rampant and significantly underreported. Here are some harrowing statistics that would make you cringe.

  • Sexual abuse impacts 2 to 8 percent of athletes below 18 years old
  • More than 8% of college athletes are affected by sexual abuse
  • 1 in 4 student-athletes has been sexually assaulted by a coach or trainer
  • At least half of sexually abused student-athletes fear their perpetrator’s retaliation

 

Despite the numbers above, the United States Center for Safesport is committed to helping end abuse in sports by investigating complaints and making abusers liable. The U.S. Center for Safesport is an independent agency. It was established in 2017 during the trial of Larry Nassar, the convicted rapist and abuser who was the team doctor of the U.S. gymnastics national team. 

The U.S. Center for SafeSport conducted a survey in 2020 where it asked 4,000 athletes in fifty sports regarding their experiences as athletes. The results show the following:

  • 93% have experienced sexual harassment, including unwanted contact, which they did not report
  • 55% experienced sexual assault from sports administrators, coaches, or trainers.
  • 55% experienced inappropriate and unwanted contact from sports administrators, coaches, or trainers
  • African American athletes and bisexual athletes experienced more inappropriate sexual touches than other races and sexual orientations.
  • Among the major sports, U.S. soccer athletes have experienced more sexual abuse and/or harassment than others.
  • U.S. soccer also has the most allegations
  • The State of California has the most misconduct allegations, followed by Ohio and Florida.

Federal sexual abuse lawsuit against South Carolina cheerleading coaches: what we know

  • Five sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed thus far by at least a dozen abuse victims.
  • Several coaches associated with Rockstar Cheer are accused of sexual abuse.
  • Rockstar Cheer and Dance Inc. is a competitive cheerleading gym in South Carolina.
  • Sexual misconduct allegations include rape, sending or soliciting sexual images, drugging, groping, molestation, and inappropriate touching. 
  • The alleged abusive acts were mostly committed when the plaintiffs were still minors, and the defendants were coaches at Rockstar Cheer.
  • The complainants in the sport coach sexual abuse lawsuit claim are males and females.
  • The defendants are mostly males, but Foster’s wife was also accused of bullying and excessive punishment training.  
  • The complaint detailed the culture and organization that exploited and propagated the abuse of young cheerleaders.
  • Scott Foster, the founder of Rockstar Cheer, was among the defendants.
  • Foster died by suicide in August 2022.
  • An amended sport coach sexual abuse lawsuit now also included Jeff Webb, founder of Varsity Spirit LLC, as one of the defendants.
  • Varsity Spirit LLC was impleaded and accused of tolerating and enabling an environment that allowed abuse to occur.

Look for the red flags: signs of sexual abuse in sports

Many victims of sports coach sexual abuse cases are afraid to come forward, partly due to fear of retaliation but mostly shame. If you are a parent, a guardian, a teacher, or a friend of a person who trains in organized sports, here are some red flags that should make you ask and investigate.

For victims of  child sexual abuse in sports:

  • Nightmares and difficulty sleeping
  • Unusual knowledge of sexual activities
  • Fear, depression, or anxiety
  • Unusual knowledge about sex
  • Refusal to be left alone with their coach, trainer, or sports administrator
  • Sexually inappropriate or explicit language
  • Physical soreness in the genitals or anal
  • Sudden wish to stop participating in the sports training

 

For victims of sexual abuse in women’s sports and sexual assault in boys and males:

  • Sudden change in behavior: anxiety, aggression, fear, or depression.
  • Exhibiting regressive behaviors
  • Not wanting to be left alone with particular adults
  • Not wanting to be away from parents or guardian
  • Discomfort in taking off clothes when taking a bath
  • Sexually inappropriate or explicit language
  • Physical soreness in the genitals or anal
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Stops caring about how they look or smell

 

Victims of sexual abuse deal with the dilemma differently. Some start to show risk-taking behavior, such as carrying weapons, taking drugs, consuming too much alcohol, or inflicting self-harm.

Who is liable sport coach sexual abuse lawsuit?

With the help of a trusted sports sexual abuse attorney, you can determine against whom to file a sports coach sexual abuse claim. Typically, a sport coach sexual abuse lawsuit is filed against the coach or trainer, the athletic program director, or the school.

The coach or trainer has moral ascendancy over the athletes, who look up to them as mentors. Therefore, any sexual abuse or harassment is an abuse of power and trust and should make the perpetrator liable.

It is likely that the athletic program director hires, trains, and empowers coaches and trainers in schools. The director has a duty to hire only trustworthy people to ensure a safe environment conducive to training athletes.

A school has a duty to ensure the safety of its students inside its premises. A sports organization has a duty to provide a safe and welcoming environment to its athlete-trainees. If the institution fails to meet this duty and the players end up harmed or abused, the institution will be held liable.

Under the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, coaches and athletes are required to have limited interaction. The law also mandates the prompt reporting of any form of inappropriate interaction among minor and amateur athletes and their coaches and trainers.

Sports coach sexual abuse settlement and compensation

No amount can ever undo the trauma that victims of sexual abuse in sports cases have gone through. Nevertheless, a reasonable sports coach sexual abuse settlement can help the victim financially.

Victims of sports sexual abuse are entitled to the following compensation:

  • Medical expenses
  • Counseling, treatment, and rehabilitation
  • Punitive damages – to deter others from doing similar acts.

 

In some cases, the victim is also awarded economic damages, such as relocation and school tuition expenses. Other non-economic damages may also be granted to cover for loss of opportunity, loss of quality of life and lifelong distress and trauma.  

If you have doubts, we urge you to speak with trusted sports sexual abused lawyers who will explain to you the benefits of filing a case and fighting for fair sports sexual abuse settlement.

Contact experienced coach sexual abuse lawyers today

As a sexual abuse in sports lawyer, we understand that fear is one of the top reasons many victims and families of victims cannot immediately hold abusers accountable. This is why at Ethen Ostroff Law, we try our best to give an assurance of hope and courage to our clients. If you choose us to be your sports coach sexual abuse attorney, we will make sure to fight for you until the end. Contact us today at 610-510-8883 or click here for a FREE consultation.

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