A former youth soccer coach for the Chicago Fire Juniors team was arrested last month for allegedly sexually abusing two female players. That same coach, 49-year-old Fernando Calderon, now faces additional charges for the alleged sexual abuse of two 16-year-old girls in 2011 and 2012, before he began coaching.
In March, Calderon was arrested and charged with felony aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a minor for alleged abuse that occurred in 2017 and 2018. Prosecutors say that he sexually abused one female teenage player and solicited sex acts from two others. The victims were between the ages of 14 and 17 when the alleged abuse occurred.
According to prosecutors, Calderon invited a 16-year-old player to his garage to train one-on-one in July 2018. The girl says that Calderon made sexual advances toward her and touched her inappropriately.
Later that month, Calderon allegedly asked a different 16-year-old player about her sexual history during one-on-one coaching sessions. He also allegedly offered to give her a massage and showed her a cell phone video of a topless woman getting a massage.
In July 2017, Calderon allegedly asked a 14-year-old girl about her sexual experiences and said that having sex would improve her soccer skills. Prosecutors say he then added her number to his phone and texted her an invitation to train at his house, mentioning that she could change in front of him.
Attorney Brian Kent is a former sex crimes prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil cases. Brian has seen how both the criminal justice and civil justice systems work and has dedicated his career to helping survivors find justice. Here are some thoughts from Brian on the legal options available to survivors of sexual abuse in youth sports leagues:
Youth sports leagues are valuable to their communities, providing activities where our kids can have fun, make new friends, and build teamwork skills. But like many other fields that involve adults working with children, youth sports leagues are often targeted by sexual predators who place themselves in positions of trust where they can commit terrible crimes.
Those in charge of youth sports leagues must stay aware of the threat that these predators pose and do all that they can to keep sexual predators out of coaching positions. Coaches should be subjected to background checks to make sure they have no prior history of sexual misconduct and when allegations of abuse arise they must be reported immediately.
In some cases, youth sports leagues are partially responsible for failing to prevent or stop the abuse because they failed to adequately protect their players from sexual predators. When this happens, the victims and their families could have a case for a lawsuit.
If your child has come forward concerning sexual abuse by a youth sports coach, your family may be able to find justice through the civil court system. You can learn more about your legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse survivors lawyer.