News4Jax has reported that multiple charges have been brought against the former youth coach for the Jacksonville Red Devils, part of the Growing Men & Women Athletic Association at 3341 Lane Ave N, Jacksonville, FL, United States, Florida.
Disturbing reports led to the arrest of 39-year-old Eric Philpot in October 2022. Parents were shocked to hear the former volunteer coach was caught on video "taking a child's wrist and guiding it toward his privates," per Fox 30. The video also showed many young kids "simulating sex acts" while clothed. Many of these parents put their trust in the youth coach, even allowing their children to spend the night with the coach on nights prior to football games.
The president of the Growing Men & Women Athletic Association released a statement that Philpot was removed from his position with the team but said he had worked with other organizations before joining the Red Devils this season.
Attorney Michael Haggard, an experienced sexual assault attorney, often represents sports sexual abuse victims in civil lawsuits. Michael recently sat down to answer the common question, "Can I sue if sexually abused by a youth coach?"
"Sexual abuse of athletes is an issue that has been going on for years. There have been numerous cases of coaches abusing young athletes, especially those involved in sports such as football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and hockey. Unfortunately, these predators often target underage athletes. It doesn't matter whether the athlete is male or female. Sexual abuse can happen to any player. It is the duty of the organization to ensure the safety of its young players. In addition to mandatory background checks, security cameras can help to reduce preventable dangers. Members should be aware of the actions of the coaches and follow up on any reports of misconduct."
"By filing a sports sex abuse lawsuit, negligent third parties, such as the youth organization, can be held accountable for failing to provide a safe environment for their players. They can be held liable for reports of inappropriate behavior that went ignored. Sexual assault victims and their families need to know that they have the right to pursue legal action in the event of sexual abuse."