According to Patch.com, two students have accused a fencing coach of sexually assaulting them. Stephen M. Kovacs, the 49-year-old fencing coach, recently owned Kaprica United Fencing Academy located at 1E Chimney Rock Rd Suite 2, Bound Brook, NJ 08805. He formerly coached at The Pingry School, Ridge High School, Dukes University in Durham, North Carolina, and Stevens Institute of Technology.
The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office learned of alleged sexual assault on a minor on September 30, 2021. The student reported that the abuse took place from August to September 2021. In September, NJ.com reported that Kovacs stayed at the victim's residence for five nights. Authorities have stated that on three of those days, the victim was abused.
On October 7, 2021, another victim accused Kovacs of sexually assaulting her between January and December 2020. Kovacs allegedly sent explicit videos of himself to the victim.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is a sexual abuse attorney in New Jersey. Brian has years of experience representing sex abuse victims and their families in civil lawsuits. Recently he shared some helpful information regarding the requirements of filing a sex abuse lawsuit for victims abused by a fencing coach.
"Athletic coaches are often trusted professionals who parents expect to have the best interest of their children when in their care. Sadly, there has been an increase in coaches violating the trust of the parents and students, especially by committing sexual abuse. It falls on the institute or school to ensure proper safety measures are in place to reduce the risk of sexual misconduct. This may include conducting background checks and by investigating any reports of misconduct."
"When a coach is accused of sexually abusing a student, it's crucial that the victim and their family is aware of their legal rights. By reporting the abuse to law enforcement, a criminal investigation will be carried out. However, in some cases, victims may have grounds for a civil lawsuit as well. Through the representation of an experienced sexual abuse attorney, the negligence of the institute or school will need to be proven."
"If the institute failed to run a background check when hiring the coach, they could be held liable. Additionally, if previous reports were ignored by an institute allowing the suspect to abuse again, they could be held accountable. It is always a good step to explore your legal options with a sexual abuse attorney if you or your child has been a victim of sexual abuse."