A former youth soccer coach with FC Boulder is scheduled to go to trial in August after being indicted on one count of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. 36-year-old Philips Peter Hufstader pleaded not guilty to this charge on Friday, January 4. A five-day trial is scheduled to begin on August 12.
Sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust is a Class 3 felony in Colorado, with a mandatory prison sentence of 8 to 24 years. However, this charge also falls under the state's indeterminate sentencing policy - meaning Hufstader could be sentenced to as much as life in prison if convicted.
The victim was 15 years old and a member of the FC Boulder youth soccer team at the time of the alleged abuse, which occurred over several months in 2017. She testified that Hufstader offered her private lessons and that the two would have sex in his car following the lessons.
Hufstader coached youth soccer in North Carolina for 10 years before moving to Boulder.
On August 27, 2017, the victim's mother went to one of the private lessons to watch and discovered her daughter and Hufstader having sex in his car. She reported this incident to FC Boulder, and Hufstader soon resigned. Police discovered cell phone records which showed thousands of text messages and photos exchanged between Hufstader and the girl.
Hufstader is currently free on $50,000 bond and has a motions hearing scheduled for May 30.
Attorney Dan Lipman specializes in helping survivors of sexual violence find justice in civil court. We've asked him to add some input regarding the legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse by youth sports coaches:
Sexual assault by individuals in positions of trust damages not only the victims, but also the families of the victims and the community at large. No one should have to worry that their child will become a victim of abuse when left with trusted community members like teachers, youth sports coaches, or religious leaders. But sadly, sexual predators are often found in these positions of trust.
In cases of abuse involving youth sports coaches, the legal system may provide justice for families in a couple of different ways. First, the criminal justice system will handle the investigation of the case and the prosecution of the abuser. The civil court system can also help victims and their families find justice by holding the organization responsible if their negligence enabled the abuse to occur and by providing financial support for damages related to the abuse.
For example, a youth sports organization might be considered liable for abuse if they hired a coach who had a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of youth sports sexual abuse, we understand the difficulties your family faces. To learn more about your legal options, consider speaking to one of our experienced sexual abuse survivors lawyers.