The Jerry Sandusky case has only intensified the attention focused on sex abuse by coaches. This week authorities arrested a figure skating coach in Maryland, alleging another case of child sex abuse. Although the charges are sealed, the coach’s attorney said they involve multiple allegations of child molestation.
Law enforcement officers arrested the 50-year-old coach pursuant to a warrant from New York. Authorities have given little information about the case because the charges are still sealed but they have indicated that the prosecution will involve events that took place in 2011 in Lake Placid, New York.
A civil lawsuit against the same coach followed hot on the heels of the arrest. The father of a female teenage figure skater claims the coach kissed and touched the girl while they were alone in his Lake Placid hotel room in 2011. The lawsuit also alleges that the coach sent her hundreds of inappropriate and romantic text messages.
It remains to be seen whether the criminal charges relate to these civil allegations.
Defendants often face both a criminal prosecution and a civil lawsuit in a sex abuse case. While the criminal prosecution will seek to punish and possibly imprison a defendant, civil lawsuits seek monetary damages on behalf of the victim. The lawsuit in this case, for example, is asking for a $5 million award for the teenage girl. Cases like this emphasize how big the stakes are in a sex crime prosecution.
Source: Washington Post, “Md. figure skating coach arrested on NY charges also faces sexual abuse lawsuit involving teen,” Sept. 6, 2012