Ten former San Jose state athletes have filed illicit acts with the California State University system in a growing sexual abuse case involving a coach and school officials.
The applicants, whose names were edited in documents received by this news organization on Thursday, claim they have been victims of sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination.
They filed the trials on Monday, the day before former assistant sports director Steve O’Brien filed an unlawful dismissal and retaliation lawsuit in the Santa Clara District Supreme Court alleging he was fired for attempting the Integrity of internal investigation into women’s allegations of true sexual abuse.
The unlawful acts arose after the school responded to allegations of sexual abuse by former members of the SJSU women’s swimming team against former sports coach Scott Shaw.
The athletes alleged that the state university system violated federal and state laws by giving Shaw access to young women, including minors, without effective supervision.
They also said that university officials did not prevent Shaw from committing sexually abusive acts against athletes, including those who did not properly exercise Shaw and take the preventive and corrective measures necessary to respond to complaints.
School officials failed to ensure their exercise regimen to prevent and report sexual abuse and harassment and adequately protected the athletes, the claim said.
One applicant in the tort said that she suffered significant personal injury, including physical injury, physical injury, weight change, severe pain in the body and mind, shock, emotional distress, mental injury, physical manifestations of emotional distress, embarrassment and loss of self-esteem, Shame, humiliation and loss of joie de vivre.
According to the athletes’ lawyers, the second Title IX investigation has taken the first step towards justice.
“These young women trusted that SJSU would protect them and act in their best interests,” said a statement from the Arns law firm and San Francisco-based attorney Fiore Achermann. “The results of the investigation show the opposite.”
The statement said San Jose state officials had a known systemic problem regarding the sexual assault of athletes and students by its staff, including Shaw.
“We will pursue all legal remedies available to Shaw and others’ victims under the law to ensure that those responsible are held accountable and to prevent such a thing from ever happening to any other young woman at SJSU. ”
According to lawyers, women are seeking institutional reforms and accountability measures to ensure the safety and protection of current and future athletes. They are also demanding compensation.
According to O’Brien’s lawsuit, the women who first made the allegations against Shaw told swim coach Sage Hopkins about eight years later that the abuse was ongoing. That spurred Hopkins to urge the school to reopen the case.
San Jose state officials reopened the investigation against Shaw in December 2019 after Hopkins distributed a nearly 300-page document to officials from the University, Mountain West, and the NCAA detailing the allegations.
After Hopkins took action, sports director Marie Tuite asked O’Brien to reprimand the swim coach. O’Brien alleges in the lawsuit that he was fired in retaliation for failing to carry out the order.
The athletes’ criminal claims filed at CSU headquarters in Long Beach come because the San Jose state sports department is facing mounting legal problems, including an FBI investigation into the Shaw case.
A recent Title IX investigation conducted by the school found that Shaw had repeatedly sexually abused athletes during massage therapy sessions allegedly intended to treat injuries. Five more Title IX cases were still ongoing, lawyers said.
Tort claims are the legal mechanism for filing lawsuits against California government agencies. State officials have 45 days to respond to claims before applicants can go to court.
According to multiple sources, Peter Turner, the school’s former softball coach, filed a tort complaint with Cal State after failing to renew his contract after a 21-5 season last summer. And David Rasmussen, SJSU’s chief sports compliance officer until he stepped down in December, has filed an internal complaint with the school.
The athletes’ crime claims allege that Cal officials knew of a pattern of repeated sexual abuse by Shaw “but were deliberately indifferent to a significant risk of sexual abuse for his students.”
A San Jose State investigation that concluded in 2010 cleared Shaw of wrongdoing. He was later promoted to director of sports medicine. Shaw resigned in August after the investigation reopened.