On Friday, November 9, a tennis coach in Brighton was arrested and arraigned on charges of sexually assaulting a young student. 57-year-old Eric Rosales pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Friday in Brighton Municipal Court.
According to the Suffolk District Attorney's Office, the victim is a girl in her early teens. The attack allegedly happened on August 8 during a lesson at the tennis courts on Nonantum Road in Brighton.
During the arraignment, a prosecutor told the court that Rosales told the girl to hug him, then groped her over her clothes, kissed her neck, and told her "I've missed you."
Morales was ordered to surrender his passport and have no contact with the girl or anyone else under age 16. He was released on personal recognizance.
Attorney contributor Kim Dougherty specializes in helping the survivor of sexual violence find answers and justice. We have asked her for some input into how the legal system can help those who have been abused by youth sports coaches:
Youth sports can be very beneficial for the children in our communities, teaching valuable skills that can prove useful throughout their lives. Most youth sports coaches are honorable people and mentors to our kids, but a small minority seek to use their positions of trust as a means to commit terrible sexual crimes. When a coach sexually abuses one of their players, we must make sure that the coach is prosecuted and that the victim and their family get the support they need.
Reporting suspected child sexual abuse begins the criminal justice process, as the authorities will investigate the case and (hopefully) bring criminal charges against the perpetrator. However, the criminal justice system often does little to directly help victims and their families. In order to recover the financial support they need for damages like therapy costs, pain and suffering, and more, many families turn to the civil court system by filing lawsuits against the coach and/or the youth sports organization.
If you or your child has been sexually abused by a youth sports coach and you'd like to learn more about your legal rights, consider speaking with one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyers.