Club Sued Over Player-Coach Sexual Misconduct; Lack of Policies Alleged

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Litigation, Molestation, News, Players, Volunteer Management

Black Hills Soccer Club, Former Coach Face Sex Abuse Lawsuit

A 23 year old former player has filed suit against her former coach and club alleging that the coach groomed her for years before convincing her to engage in a sexual relationship at the age of 17.    The coach was relieved of his duties, but had been with the club for over a decade.  In 2010, the coach had:

fallen under the suspicion of the Lacey Police Department, after he was contacted by officers February of 2010 with the victim in his van.

According to the police report, an officer responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked on Beckonridge Lane SE just after 9 p.m. The reporting party said the van had been parked for about an hour.

The officer found Cross, then 45, and the victim inside the van. The victim initially told the officer that she was 18, but later admitted that she was 17.

The victim said that Cross had pulled off of the road after feeling dizzy, and they had been talking. The officer wrote in the report that he believed Cross’s actions were, “highly suspect and inappropriate.”

Despite this report, no action was taken against the coach and he continued with the club.  The suit alleges that “the club didn’t have policies in place to prevent coaches from engaging in social interactions with players, texting and calling players for personal reasons, or spending time alone with players.”   The club contends that such a policy was in existence.  This “case isn’t the first in which a Black Hills Football Club coach was accused of an inappropriate relationship with a player. In 2002, former coach Dennis Jones was arrested and charged with five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, and one count of providing liquor to a minor.”
Placek Consulting can provide your soccer club not only with policies on player-coach interaction, but with an  implementation plan to make player safety a club priority and establish reliable reporting and investigative processes.

Coaches Texting Players Has To Stop

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Molestation, Volunteer Management

If we could give just one rule for every youth sports association to put in place for child protection, it would be this:  no texting/messaging between the coaches and the kids.  Kids are kids; parents are parents.   Any matter dealing with teams, practices, performance, extra training, conflicts and the like are appropriately channeled through the parents.  If the coach’s concern can’t be addressed face to face in a public setting, then the only proper route to go is through the parent.  Reviewing the reports of arrests and convictions reported over the past few years, there are very few incidents that do not involve either texting or interaction on social media.  The prevalence of this common denominator in player solicitation and abuse, by itself, should prompt action from the national and state governing bodies to address this problem.  Once the rules are in place, then educate the parents and the players to know that such contact is inappropriate and should be reported immediately.  Terminate coaches who fail to comply.  There simply is no excuse.

In Tennessee, a 26 year old coach has been arrested for solicitation of a 14 year old player on his softball team. (Full Story Here).  In a matter of weeks, the texts from the coach changed from conversation about softball, to asking her to sneak out to meet him, to asking for a kiss and requesting photos.  Another news report states that there “were also messages suggesting they have intercourse.”  The texts were discovered by the mother, reported to the police and the coach was arrested and charged with solicitation of a minor.

This pattern repeats itself not only in youth sports cases, but in many of the well publicized cases involving public school teachers and their students.  The handwriting is on the wall.  The threat is well known.  Youth sports associations that fail to act to adopt policies prohibiting private electronic communication between coaches and players run a great risk of being found negligent, if not grossly negligent, for failing to protect their players from predator coaches.


Va. Soccer Coach Arrest Reveals Trail of Red Flags

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Molestation, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Screening

A Virginia soccer coach arrested and charged with inappropriately touching an 11 year old player provides yet another clear example of patterns common in the grooming and pursuit of young victims by adult authority figures.  (Full Story Here).  The suspect was a coach at an indoor soccer facility and also had worked as a part time school coach and for a club team.  He was arrested after the victim’s mother discovered lewd text messages on her son’s phone from the coach.  Further, the abuse was alleged to have occurred when the coach gave the player a ride to watch a soccer game outside of the organization.