Last month, a judge set a June trial date for former youth hockey coach Christopher Prew, who has been charged with sexually abusing eight boys in Essex County and another in Middlesex County. On March 29, new charges were issued against the 32-year-old coach for allegedly abusing another victim in Vermont in February 2016.
A warrant was issued for his arrest in Vermont last week, with $15,000 bail. The Vermont State Police has charged Prew with lewd or lascivious conduct with a child.
Prew was first arrested in Massachusetts in February 2018 for allegedly sexually abusing several young boys he was coaching. He has been held without bail since he was arrested and is currently incarcerated at the Middleton House of Corrections in Massachusetts.
The allegations first surfaced when the mother of a boy Prew had been babysitting came forward to tell authorities that her son had told her he'd been abused by Prew. After this news broke, multiple other victims came forward about inappropriate touching by Prew.
Attorney contributor Kim Dougherty represents survivors of sex crimes in civil lawsuits. We've asked her to share some thoughts on the options for legal recourse available to survivors of sexual abuse in youth sports leagues:
In fields that involve adults working with kids, it's crucial to make sure everyone involved is trustworthy. Sadly, sexual predators often seek out positions of authority and trust that involve working with kids, including youth sports. The people who run youth sports leagues must be aware of the threat of sexual predators and do all that they can to keep players safe.
When a child comes forward to disclose sexual abuse by a youth sports coach, there are several concerns that must be addressed. The perpetrator must be arrested and prosecuted, the victims must be provided with support, and if the youth sports league failed to prevent or stop the abuse through negligence, they also deserve to be held accountable.
For example, a youth sports league could be considered negligent if they failed to run a background check and hired a new coach who had a history of sexual misconduct.
If your child has recently come forward concerning sexual abuse in a youth sports league, your family may have options for justice through the civil court system. You can learn more about your family's rights by speaking to an experienced sex abuse survivors attorney.