A former Belpre High School soccer coach has been sentenced to 3-15 years in prison after pleading guilty to having a sexual relationship with an underage girl on the team. 23-year-old Trent Jacob Stanley was sentenced the morning of Monday, December 10 before Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jason Wharton.
In October, Stanley pleaded guilty to four counts of third-degree sexual abuse. This was part of a plea deal in which the district attorney agreed to drop several other charges. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Stanley admitted to transporting a girl younger than 16 to his apartment in Parkersburg and having sexual intercourse with her several times between October and December 2017. He has also been accused of having sexual contact with at least one other girl.
Attorney contributor Paul Bucci helps survivors of sexual abuse find justice in civil court. We've asked Paul to add some thoughts on the legal options available to those who have been sexually abused by coaches and other school employees:
Sexual predators often seek out positions of trust and authority where they'll have the opportunity to prey on vulnerable victims. Sadly, these predators are often found in our schools as teachers, coaches, and other staff members. When a school staff member sexually abuses a student, it's crucial to make sure justice is served. This includes prosecuting the perpetrator and, in some cases, taking legal action against the school for their negligence.
Schools can be held liable for the sexual abuse of their students if the abuse only occurred because of some form of negligence. For example, a school might be considered negligent for failing to run a background check on a new employee, which could have revealed a history of sexual misconduct.
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a coach or another school employee, you can learn more about your family's legal options by speaking to an experienced sexual abuse victims attorney.