Last Updated: 7/13/2020
The head coach of the football and varsity girls basketball teams at La Puente High School has been fired after at least 10 girls basketball players reported alleged sexual harassment as stated on www.sgvtribune.com. Erick Williams was terminated from his position in October of 2019.
During a school board meeting, 10 girls and their parents spoke regarding alleged sexual harassment by the coach. According to school board members and district officials, this was the first time they had been notified of the allegations.
The girls said that Williams frequently whispered in their ears vulgar comments about their bodies. One of the girls accused Williams of touching her breasts.
On October 29, the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services filed a report accusing Williams of abuse with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The authorities say that there is more than one victim.
According to the students, they first reported Williams’ alleged sexual misconduct on October 14 and felt like the school’s response was inadequate. Parents have criticized the school for failing to notify parents of the allegations until after the school board meeting on October 24.
Attorney Bobby Thompson works with sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits against their attackers. He has offered to provide us with some commentary on the legal options for a victim of sexual abuse in a school:
“Unfortunately, sexual predators often seek jobs that involve having a certain level of authority over children. This leads to many of them working in schools and makes it so schools must be ever-vigilant of potential offenders. If schools ever turn a blind eye to such behavior or do not properly investigate as soon as it is reported, then they can be found negligent and share some of the responsibility for the abuse. If a school has been negligent in the handling of a sexual assault then the victim can file a lawsuit against the school for its behavior.”