A youth hockey coach in Dracut, Massachusetts has been accused of sexually assaulting a player on his team. 59-year-old Allen Pereira was arrested on Sunday and faces three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older.
Police say that Pereira was working a coach for a private youth hockey organization in Dracut when he allegedly sexually assaulted the player. The name of that organization is not available at this time.
According to the police, Pereira abused the player "over the course of several years, starting when the victim was 14 years old and a hockey player on a team coached by Pereira." Pereira is accused of inappropriately touching the victim and attempting "to coerce the victim into touching him and performing sexual acts on him."
Pereira has an arraignment scheduled in Lowell District Court. According to the authorities, this investigation is active and ongoing.
Attorney contributor Kim Dougherty helps sex abuse survivors and their families fight for answers and support in civil lawsuits against sexual predators and negligent third parties, including youth sports leagues that have failed to protect their players from abuse by coaches. Here are some thoughts from Kim on the legal rights of youth sports coach sex abuse victims and their families:
In youth sports and other organizations that work with children, preventative measures must be taken to make sure that all adults working with those children are trustworthy. Tragically, child predators often seek out positions of trust in youth organizations and then exploit that trust in order to commit heinous crimes.
When a child is abused by a youth sports coach, it's important to investigate whether the organization failed to prevent the abuse due to negligence. For example, a youth sports organization could be considered negligent for ignoring previous complaints of inappropriate behavior by a coach who was later arrested on sex abuse charges. In cases involving negligence, the victims and their families could have grounds for a lawsuit against the organization.
If you or your child is a survivor of sexual abuse by a youth sports coach, you can learn more about your legal rights by speaking with one of our experienced sex abuse victims lawyers in a free consultation.