Two women, who were students at Bruton High School during the 2017-2018 school year, have filed a lawsuit against York County School Division, claiming they were groomed for sexual exploitation by a sports coach.
The lawsuit alleges that the coach singled out one of the students and promised her that she could get an athletic scholarship with his help. He told her that she was his favorite player.
The head coach obtained the student’s address and gave her rides to games until she told the assistant coach that the head coach’s behavior made her feel uncomfortable. After the assistant coach told the head coach to stop, the head coach benched the player and told her to practice daily one-on-one with him.
The head coach then started giving her rides to the one-on-one practices. She was afraid that if she refused the rides and/or one-on-one practices, he would reduce her playing time more and wouldn’t help her get into college. During at least one of the practices, he grabbed her by the hips and pulled her against his groin.
“She felt humiliated and powerless, hoping the practice to end as quick as possible,” the lawsuit said.
The girl felt stressed and anxious and told a school administrator about the coach’s behavior. The suit claims the administrator didn’t report the behavior to other officials.
She eventually dropped out of school and went into therapy.
In January 2018, the coach moved on to another student. She wasn’t part of a sports team and did not know the coach until he approached her about her desires to join the Air Force.
The lawsuit alleges that the coach put himself in the girl’s life after he heard that she wanted to join the Air Force. He invited her to his classroom to advise her and encouraged her to leave her boyfriend.
The coach communicated with the girl through SnapChat and told her how he felt about her body, her looks, and sex life. He told her that if she went to a women’s college, she would probably participate in lesbian sex.
When the student complained about a coworker, the coach told her that coworker wanted to have sex with her. He then asked her if she would have sex with him for money.
The coach’s behavior caused the girl’s grades to drop. She eventually started therapy and never went to a women’s college or into any branch of the military.
The lawsuit asks for $50,000 in damages.