An accusation of sexual abuse carries a lot of weight, especially when it is leveled against a coach and the school that has covered up the sex abuse scandal. While not all allegations are completely true, it is important that judges carefully determine whether there is enough evidence to bring a civil sexual abuse lawsuit before dismissing a case altogether. In this story, a federal judge in New York has delayed his decision on whether to dismiss a lawsuit against Poly Prep Country Day School in New York.
Many people in Albany may have heard of the well-known Brooklyn preparatory school, but they may not have known of the accusations that the football coach has been sexually assaulting students for decades. While it is unclear when the last case of sexual abuse allegedly took place, the victims' attorneys are looking to hold the coach and the school responsible for these incidents of abuse by filing claims under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Title IX.
According to the New York Daily News, the victims have long reported the apparent abuse at the hands of the football coach, but that the school continuously covered up any scandals. The victims believe that parents and alumni of Poly Prep who have previously donated money were defrauded by the school because the school continued to sell its football coach as a positive member of the community and hid any allegations of sexual abuse. The victims say this violates the anti-racketeering law.
The victims are also pursuing a claim under Title IX, which does not allow for sexual abuse at a school that is partially or fully federally-funded.
Sexual assaults perpetrated against children are extremely difficult to hear about, but it is important that our court system protects those victims by giving them a fair chance to present their cases and ask for compensation for the things that have been done to them. Money will not undo the horrible things they have gone through, but it may help the children recover and move on to a healthy future.
Source: New York Daily News, "Federal judge will postpone ruling on motion to dismiss Poly Prep sex abuse case," Michael O'Keeffe, Feb. 3, 2012